The share market has fallen as disappointing Chinese economic data and weak leads from overseas markets prompted investors to sell.
A preliminary HSBC purchasing managers' index suggested Chinese manufacturing looks set to contract in January, for the first time in six months.
The index dipped to 49.6 points, from December's reading of 50.5.
A reading above 50 indicate expansion, and below 50 indicates contraction.
"There are two things impacting the market today," Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said.
"A pretty soft performance on overseas markets and not much going on in commodities, and some information out from China today which was a bit dour," Mr Heffernan said.
On the local market in the resources sector, BHP Billiton dropped 59 cents to $37.04, Rio Tinto retreated 62 cents to $64.67 and iron ore miner Fortescue Metals dropped 11 cents to $5.24.
Whitehaven Coal was off 3.5 cents at $1.845 as it lifted production and sales, but said it expects a slight fall in prices for metallurgical coal in early 2014.
Gold miner Newcrest lost 21 cents to $9.13 as it set itself for deeper cost cutting despite reducing production costs by 16 per cent in the December quarter.
Oil and sas producer Santos dipped 12 cents to $14.14 despite reporting a 21 per cent boost in quarterly sales revenue.
Among the major banks, Westpac fell 51 cents to $31.44, ANZ slumped 43 cents to $30.97, Commonwealth Bank eased 78 cents to $75.13, and National Australia Bank lost 13 cents to $34.16.
Insurer IAG shed 17 cents to $5.60 as it lifted its guidance on insurance margins for the 2013/14 financial year but reduced expected growth in premiums.
- At the close on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 56.8 points, or 1.07 per cent, at 5,263 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was down 55.8 points, or 1.05 per cent, at 5,275.5 points.
- The March share price index futures contract was 55 points lower at 5,225 points, with 29,646 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 1.57 billion securities worth $4.1 billion.