Australia’s share market was lower and the Aussie dollar was buying more than 71 US cents as investors watch early results in the US presidential election.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 61.2 points, or 1.0 per cent, to a session low of 6005.2 at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The index reached a session high of 6078.3 early, but gradually slipped.
The All Ordinaries was lower by 60.1 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 6202.7.
After US markets closed higher, investors on the Aussie market have lost confidence as President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden have split the first US states to be projected in the White House race.
Mr Trump claimed conservative Kentucky and Indiana, and Biden took Democratic-leaning Vermont and Virginia in widely expected results.
A close contest, and the possibility of a result not being known for days, is the least preferred outcome for traders.
The Aussie dollar rose above 72 US cents just after 1100 AEDT, but has eased.
Among the ASX sectors, materials had the worst performance, down 1.67 per cent.
Financials fared little better, down 1.58 per cent after Tuesday’s Reserve Bank rate cut to 0.1 per cent.
Other sectors to have lost more than one per cent included energy and health.
Industrials was the only positive sector, up 0.53 per cent.
The border between NSW and Victoria will open on November 23, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has declared.
The decision follows Victoria last month easing its strict coronavirus restrictions after months of high infection figures and many deaths.
Victoria recorded its fifth consecutive day of zero virus cases, while its northern neighbour recorded three locally transmitted cases.
Meanwhile the construction industry appears to have improved, buoyed by house building and less pronounced declines in apartment and engineering works.
The latest construction figures are a further sign of economic recovery from recession, a rebound the Reserve Bank of Australia wants to encourage using monetary tools.
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association performance of construction index rose 7.5 points in October to 52.7, indicating a mild expansion.
The Commonwealth Bank has cut fixed-rate home loan rates and some for business loans, but has attracted criticism from consumer groups for leaving its variable rate unchanged.
The CBA is cutting its four-year fixed rate home loan rate by one per cent to 1.99 per cent, its lowest advertised rate.
Shares were down 2.27 per cent to $68.23. Among major rivals, ANZ lost 1.38 per cent to $19.20, NAB shed 1.05 per cent to $18.70 and Westpac fell 2.06 per cent to $17.33.
Woolworths food sales jumped almost 13 per cent in the first quarter of this financial year, a result the supermarket giant says bodes well for the Christmas season.
Australian food sales totalled $12 billion, a rise of 12.9 per cent on the same 14 weeks in 2019/20, for in-store, online and other sales categories.
Shares were lower by 0.87 per cent to $38.47.
In mining, BHP lost 1.55 per cent to $34.16, Rio Tinto shed 1.98 per cent to $92.91 and Fortescue declined by 5.23 per cent to $16.38.
Earlier in the US, stocks closed sharply higher and investors bet the election will be decided without a prolonged process, leading to a swift deal on more fiscal stimulus.
The S&P 500 rose 58.92 points, or 1.8 per cent, to 3,369.16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 554.98, or 2.1 per cent, to 27,480.03, and the Nasdaq composite added 202.96, or 1.9 per cent, to 11,160.57.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.45 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 70.45 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.