Shares were down by more than 1.6 per cent on the Australian market after reporting season finished and the Aussie dollar climbed.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 103.3 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 5957.2 points at 1200 AEST on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries index was lower by 101.6 points, or 1.62 per cent, to 6144.3.
Financials were down 2.16 per cent and there were also losses of more than two per cent for energy, information technology, property and consumer staples.
The Australian dollar continued its upward trend and was buying 74.00 US cents, higher from 73.48 US cents at Friday’s close.
The trend makes Aussie shares more expensive for overseas investors.
The Reserve Bank is due to announce its decision on the cash rate at 1430 AEST.
Experts do not expect any change to the record-low rate of 0.25 per cent.
Earlier, Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed the nation’s current account trade surplus ballooned to $17.7 billion in the June quarter compared with $9 billion in the previous three months.
The June quarter national accounts are due on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index – a pointer to future household spending – fell 2.7 per cent, ending two weeks of gains.
However, confidence is improving in Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed he is preparing a plan to allow people and business more freedom in the state as virus infections drop. Five deaths and 70 infections were reported on Tuesday.
Mr Andrews will reveal the plan on Sunday. Melbourne residents remain under curfew and travel restrictions until September 13.
On the ASX, the losses for financials meant ANZ had a 2.35 per cent decline to $17.85. Commonwealth Bank slipped 1.83 per cent to $67.03, NAB lost 2.62 per cent to $17.46 and Westpac shed 2.22 per cent to $17.15.
Australia’s second-biggest insurer QBE has lost its group CEO following an investigation into workplace communications.
Pat Regan is leaving after just three years in the job after the board said it had to take “decisive” action after receiving the external investigation report.
Shares were down 5.37 per cent to $10.04.
Temple & Webster boss Mark Coulter has netted more than $22 million for himself after he sold 2.4 million of his shares.
The sale comes the day after the furniture group’s full-year results prompted a record-high share price.
Mr Coulter said the sale was partly due to his tax obligations. He retains more than 7.2 million shares.
T&W shares were lower by 1.85 per cent to $9.51.
Miners were down. BHP lost 1.34 per cent to $37.40, Rio Tinto shed 1.05 per cent to $96.97 and Fortescue was down 0.97 per cent to $17.25.
In the US overnight, markets finished lower as losses in financial, industrial and energy companies outweighed gains in technology stocks.
The S&P 500 fell 7.70 points to 3,500.31, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 223.82 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 28,430.05. The Nasdaq rose 79.82 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 11,775.46.