The Australian share market has closed at a six-week low, with better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data unable to inspire investors.
CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said Monday's trading session had been very quiet.
"We haven't been taking much off a lead from US markets, particularly with the US (Thanksgiving) holiday last week," he said.
"Volumes are on the light side.
"But we could see a quick turnaround in sentiment if the US (market) on its return from holidays gets out on the front foot."
US stocks closed lower on Friday in a holiday-shortened session.
Mr McCarthy said the latest Chinese manufacturing figures surprisingly had failed to provide any drive for the materials sector.
"Overall, I would have said that read was supportive, coming in line with the previous reading but also above expectations," he said.
HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China, which was released on Monday, slipped to 50.8 in November from 50.9 in October, on a 100-point scale. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.
The November reading indicated that China's massive manufacturing sector was improving, albeit marginally.
The reading was also an improvement from a preliminary reading of 50.4 released earlier last month.
On the local bourse among the major banks, Westpac fell 28 cents to $32.60, Commonwealth Bank dropped 97 cents to $76.85, ANZ eased five cents to $31.85, and National Australia Bank dumped 27 cents at $34.31.
In the resources sector, global mining giant BHP Billiton shed 49 cents to $36.90, Rio Tinto dipped 21 cents to $65.85, and Fortescue Metals fell 11 cents to $5.57.
GrainCorp lost 31 cents to $8.41 after chief executive Alison Watkins said she would leave the company to take up a position at Coca-Cola Amatil. Coca-Cola Amatil was two cents higher at $12.11.
Metcash jumped 23 cents to $3.28 after the company lifted its half-year profit by 20 per cent.
* On Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 40.5 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 5,279.5 points.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 40.8 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 5,273.5 points.
* The December share price index futures contract was 43 points lower at 5,286 points, with 29,037 contracts traded.
* National turnover was 1.53 billion securities worth $3.82 billion.
* The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,246.50 per fine ounce, up $US3.89 of Friday's closing price of $US1,242.61.