The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) has finished down 0.67 per cent to 6,091 points, after ABS data revealed more than 1 million Australians are unemployed.
The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) also closed 0.53 per cent lower to 6,223.90 points.
All sectors finished in the red bar information technology and consumer staples, which closed 0.50 per cent and 1.16 per cent higher respectively.
Utilities, financials and health care stocks performed the worst.
What happened this afternoon?
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) has reversed its early gains, trading 0.56 per cent lower to 6,097.7 points at 12.05pm AEST.
The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) is also trading 0.45 per cent lower to 6,229 points at 12:05pm AEST.
It follows the latest labour force data, which revealed that, for the first time ever, more than 1 million Australians have been out of work since April.
The share market was dragged down by the utilities sector, which was trading 4.11 per cent lower, followed by the financials sector, which was trading more than 1 per cent lower.
ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac were trading 1.22 per cent, 2.61 per cent and 1.04 per cent lower respectively at midday.
The energy, consumer staples and information technology sectors bucked the trend, with A2 Milk and Coles trading 1.17 per cent and 0.21 per cent higher respectively.
What happened this morning?
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) has lifted 0.17 per cent at the opening of trade to 6,142.40 points, after the S&P 500 finished less than 0.25 per cent away from its record high.
The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) also opened 0.26 per cent higher to 6,273 points at 10:05 AEST.
All sectors opened in the green bar the utilities and health care sectors, which were down 1.92 per cent and 0.59 per cent respectively.
Investors will today be awaiting Australia’s July labour force data, with Westpac economists expecting the unemployment rate to increase to 7.8 per cent, or 40,000 more jobless Australians.
What happened overnight?
The US share market finished higher as investors brushed off another day of political stalemate over more US fiscal stimulus support.
The S&P 500 finished 1.4 per cent higher to 3,380.33 points, the Dow Jones finished 1.05 per cent higher to 27,976.55 points and the Nasdaq closed 2.13 per cent higher to 11,012.24 points.
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