The Australian sharemarket has opened slightly lower with overnight falls in overseas markets offset by strong commodity prices.
Strong US economic data on employment numbers and new home sales weighed on stocks as investors weighed whether that meant an end to its money printing program.
Meanwhile, commodity prices are higher led by iron ore and the Australian dollar is lower, which is good for more Australian stocks than it is bad.
"Miners are leading the way and perhaps there is some sort of movement out of banks, which have been strong outperformers all year round," IG market strategist Stan Shamu told AAP.
"Today they are mildly weaker so perhaps that is what we're seeing unfolding heading into the end of the year."
China and Japan's markets could influence Australia on Thursday, he said, with Japan set to unveil a massive stimulus package to counter the impact of a looming sales tax hike.
Among the four major banks, Westpac was down 31 cents to $32.04, Commonwealth lost 55 cents to $76.25, ANZ shed 19.5 cents to $31.565 and National Australia Bank had dropped 32 cents to $34.06.
Global mining giant BHP Billiton was up 26 cents at $37.06, rival Rio Tinto gained 57 cents to $66.86 and Fortescue was up 7.5 cents at $5.705.
Gold miner Newcrest had improved 5.0 cents to $7.21 after a bounce in the gold price overnight, but is still 47 cents down for the week.
* At 1045 on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 28.3 points, or 0.54 per cent, lower at 5,245.3.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 25.4 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 5,242.1.
* The December share price index futures contract was 24 points higher at 5,253, with 9,993 contracts traded.
* National turnover was 466.2 million securities worth $741.4 million.