Australia Markets closed

Aust stocks slip as energy, mining weigh

The Australian share market has slipped in early trade, taking cues from a lower close on Wall Street, as overnight declines in the metals and energy markets weighed down sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.4 per cent within the first hour of trade, led by losses in energy, mining and financial stocks.

"We are continuing to see money being taken off the table after the strong run last week," CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said.

"We should expect a bit of volatility over the next few weeks as the market gets used to the Trump presidency and what the impact will be."

Overnight, a seven-day rally fizzled on Wall Street with investors looking for more clarity on Donald Trump's policies as president. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 0.29 per cent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.16 per cent.

In the local market, investors are watching out for employment data for October to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Local mining and energy shares were among the worst performers.

Woodside fell 1.8 per cent, to $29.21, Santos lost 1.9 per cent at $3.98, while Oil Search was down 1.6 per cent to $6.68, with the shares reflecting an overnight decline in oil prices.

Key mining shares were also lower, with BHP Billiton and Fortescue down 1.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. Rival Rio Tinto was up 0.1 per cent at $57.00 despite sacking two top executives over a payments scandal related to the Simandou iron ore project in West Africa.

The four big banks were trading between 0.6 and 1.0 per cent lower.

Among other stocks, building material company James Hardie was down 2.2 per cent at $19.09 after it reported a 24 per cent drop in first-half profit due to the cost of hiring new staff.

Telstra shares were up more than two per cent to $4.82 after the telco major reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the full year.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1050 AEDT on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 20.6 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 5,307.1.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 20.3 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 5,379.3 points.

* The December share price index futures contract was down eight points to 5,312, with 12,534 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 672.8 million securities traded, worth $1.25 billion.