Not even a late session rally on Wall Street could prevent international markets from putting up red ink across the leaderboard overnight.
In Europe the FTSE shed 36 points (-0.6%) to settle at 5874 whilst the CAC (-0.4%) and DAX (-0.8%) also endured weakness.
Stateside, the Dow Jones finished 15 points (-0.1%) weaker, at 12963, whilst the S&P 500 (-0.4%) and Nasdaq (-0.9%) suffered heavier falls.
Orders to US factories fell by 1% in January. This was the first negative reading in three months but it was widely expected by economists.
The Aussie dollar lost ground and is now buying US$1.067, whilst the yen rallied against all of its most-traded counterparts after China said it will lower its target for economic growth, boosting demand for the relative safety of Japan’s currency.
Oil edged higher as US and Israeli leaders met to discuss how to confront Iran over its nuclear program. Oil closed up 0.3% to $106.99 a barrel.
Base metals fell on the lower Chinese growth target. Copper shed 1.1%, leading declines on the London Metal Exchange. Gold fell marginally to US$1,707 an ounce.
Caltex goes ex -dividend (28c) while the RBA meet to deliver their March interest rate decision, which is slated for release at 2:30pm, AEDT.
At last sighting, markets are pricing in a 90% likelihood that rates will be kept on hold at 4.25%.