Global markets opened the new trading week on a negative note last night, amid growing concerns the recent rally has been overdone.
On Wall Street, stocks fell into a heap despite data that showed US manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace since April 2011 last month.
The Dow lost 77 point (-0.5%) to 16009, the S&P500 shed five points (-0.3%) to 1801 and the Nasdaq let go of 15 points (-0.4%) to 4045.
With the S&P500 up approximately 26% so far in 2013, investors appear to be looking for more compelling reasons to drive stocks higher in the final month of the year.
Commodities were mostly weaker, with gold headlining the losses as the better-than-expected US manufacturing read bolstered the likelihood of the Fed pulling back on stimulus this month.
Conversely, oil rebounded as the manufacturing numbers raised hopes that a pickup in US economic growth will boost energy demand.
Bullion slumped 2.3% to US$1221 an ounce whilst oil futures jumped 1.2% to US$93.85 a barrel.
The greenback recorded widespread gains versus other currencies, rising to a more than six month high against the yen on bets the Bank of Japan is readying another round of monetary stimulus.
In economic news, retail sales and current account data are due for release at 11:30am, AEDT. All eyes will then be on the RBA interest rate decision, scheduled for 2:30pm, AEDT.