The Australian market has opened weaker due to falls by the mining giants and a soft lead from Wall Street.
CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner said the Australian market was returning to a more stable level after the volatility caused by political unrest in Ukraine.
"Prior to the Ukraine situation our market had reached a level whereby it was reluctant to push much higher," he said.
"The market is getting back to its basic level after the gyrations caused by the situation in Ukraine."
Wall Street fell overnight after a report showed only modest private-sector jobs growth in the US in February.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto tumbled in opening trade after iron ore prices dropped overnight.
BHP was down 40 cents, or 1.06 per cent, at $37.40, while Rio Tinto was down 64 cents, or 0.99 per cent, at $64.17.
The four major banks also opened weaker.
National Australia Bank was down 22 cents at $34.82, ANZ had dropped 15 cents at $32.37, Westpac had lost nine cents at $34.14 and Commonwealth Bank was 17 cents weaker at $75.35.
Retail trade data will be released at 1130 AEDT, and economists expect a rise of 0.4 per cent in spending during January.
* At 1021 AEDT on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 19.4 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 5,426.8 points.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 17.7 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 5,439.6 points.
* The March share price index futures contract was down 32 points at 5,421 points, with 8,031 contracts traded.
* National turnover was 209 million securities worth $387 million.