The Australian share market has lost more ground with energy and materials stocks the biggest losers as investors look ahead to Sunday's Greek elections.
At 1200 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 27 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 4,036.8, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 27.4 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 4,084.1.
On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was down 30 points at 4,036, with 19,604 contracts traded.
Lower US retail sales data for May, combined with worries over Greek elections on Sunday, Spain's banks and Italy's bond auction later on Thursday, dragged the local market lower, Francesco De Stradis, investment adviser at Ord Minnett, said.
"The market is getting a little bit jittery about the US again," he said.
Recent weaker US macro-economic data reflected a period of consolidation, he added.
"The obsession with the glass half-empty approach to investing means, in the absence of any other factors, the market is sinking," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said.
Local energy stocks bore the brunt of negative sentiment, with defensive stocks the most stable, Mr De Stradis said.
By 1213 AEST, BHP Billiton had fallen 37 cents, or 1.16 per cent, to $31.55, while Rio Tinto had lost 58 cents, or 1.06 per cent, to $54.02.
Oil Search Ltd led the energy majors lower, slipping 12.5 cents, or 1.85 per cent, to $6.645.
Rival Santos dropped 21 cents, or 1.79 per cent, to $11.52.
Big banks were mostly lower, with National Australia Bank bucking the trend by adding four cents to $22.19.
After gaining more than eight per cent in opening trade, Perpetual had climbed higher, gaining $1.98, or 9.15 per cent, to $23.62 by 1218 AEST.
The Australian Financial Review reported a private equity player was targeting the wealth manager and may make a takeover offer of around $30 per share.
Telstra firmed 0.5 cents to $3.615.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,617.10 per fine ounce by 1221 AEST, up $US6.40 from Wednesday's closing price of $US1,610.70 per fine ounce.
By 1222 AEST, national turnover had reached 617.8 million securities, worth $1 billion, with 281 securities trading up, 506 down and 340 steady.
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