US markets suffered their third consecutive loss overnight, amid uncertainty surrounding the start date for Fed stimulus tapering.
The Dow Jones failed to hold above the key 16000 level, with investors unwilling to prop up the benchmark index on fears the recent rally has stretched too far.
Instead, profit-taking has kicked in ahead of a crucial Fed meeting in two weeks time that may determine when central bank officials will begin pulling back on stimulus.
Oil was the key mover in commodity markets, surging another two percent to its highest settlement in over a month.
Crude has rebounded in recent sessions on speculation tonight’s supply report will reveal a sharp drop in weekly US inventories.
The greenback weakened slightly against other currencies, as traders weigh the likely impact this week’s US jobs report will have on the Fed’s decision to adjust stimulus.
In economic news, third quarter domestic GDP data is due for release at 11:30am, AEDT.