The Australian share market has closed lower after investors became cautious midway through the session and locked in recent profits.
Uncertainty has resurfaced ahead of the US corporate earnings season, which kicks off with Alcoa's numbers after the closing bell on Wall Street tomorrow morning (Australian time).
By the end of trade the All Ordinaries index has shed 0.5 per cent or 26 points to 4,712, while the ASX 200 index gave back 27 points to 4,690.
The major mining stocks gave back ground on worries the spot iron ore price is due for a correction after a recent rally.
BHP Billiton shed 0.8 per cent to $37.50, while Rio Tinto was down 1.2 per cent.
Shares in Whitehaven Coal, the , slipped a third of a per cent by the close.
Chief executive Tony Haggarty says he is taking legal advice on how to recover shareholder losses.
He says the anti-coal lobbyists that targeted his company are extremist and radical in their approach.
"Unfortunately we and the vast majority of the local population have nothing in common with these guys," he said.
"They've been shipped in from elsewhere and neither Moylan nor Drechsler, who's the other leader in this band of opponents, neither of them are local so there's no constructive dialogue to be had with them." Coming off yesterday's record high the Commonwealth Bank lost 2 per cent to $61.37.
The remaining three big banks were mixed mixed.
Westpac ended flat and the ANZ and NAB shed close to 1 per cent each.
The best performer on the ASX 200 index was the Ten Network, which climbed 6.7 per cent to 31.5 cents.
Shares in The Reject Shop also performed well, jumping 4.6 per cent.
Some of the other retailers were also stronger ahead of tomorrow's official retail sales data for November.
JB Hi Fi added 2.8 per cent.
Money also poured into defensive stocks like Telstra, which added 0.2 per cent to $4.46.
The Australian dollar gave back ground against the greenback throughout the day and was buying 104.79 US cents around 5.00pm (AEDT).
At the same time it was also worth 79.84 euro cents, 91.68 Japanese yen and 65.05 British pence.
The price of West Texas Crude oil was fairly flat at $US93.18 a barrel, while spot gold eased a little to $US1,649 an ounce.