UPDATE 8am: Australian shares opened lower with the mining giants and most of the major banks posting falls.
At 8am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 36.4 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 4447.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 33.6 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4468.6 points.
On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 29 points lower at 4,457 points, on volume of 11,287 contracts.
City Index chief analyst Peter Esho said the Australian market had opened lower following weak overseas leads and falls in its two biggest sectors, resources and financials.
“Three of the big four banks have now gone ex-dividend so the short term reason to be in them has somewhat gone out and resources are struggling, so that pulls some support out of the market, but we're not seeing overly excessive losses,” he said.
US stocks sank in the second day of losses after President Barack Obama's re-election victory, trimming another one per cent after Wednesday's huge rout.
At the closing bell the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 120.95 points (0.94 per cent) to 12,811.78.
European stock markets closed lower and the euro edged down after European central banks held key interest rates at record low levels and debt-stricken Greece approved new austerity measures.
London's FTSE 100 index of top companies closed down by 0.27 per cent at 5776.05 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 gave up 0.39 per cent to 7204.96 and the Paris CAC 40 eased 0.06 per cent lower to 3407.68 points.
BHP Billiton fell 35 cents to $34.32, Rio Tinto dived 89 cents to $58.46 and Fortescue lost 6.5 cents to $3.875.
ANZ Bank dropped six cents to $24.31, National Australia Bank plunged $1.09 to $23.78 and Westpac dived $1.08 to $24.85.
However, the Commonwealth Bank gained seven cents to $58.25. In economic news on Friday, the Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release its Statement on Monetary Policy.
In equities news, Macmahon Holdings is due to hold its annual general meeting.
National turnover was 185.8 million securities worth $750 million, with 164 stocks trading up, 334 down and 235 unchanged.