The Australian stock market opened down following falls on Wall Street and weaker mining shares across the world.
The All Ordinaries index was down 14.9 points or 0.3 per cent to 5154.6 in early trade.
Checking currencies, the Australian dollar has slipped 0.3 per cent to 74.4 US cents.
It was buying 83.7 Japanese yen, 52.3 British pence, 67.6 euro cents and $NZ1.103.
Wall Street ended moderately lower as oil prices slipped and weak Chinese data rekindled fears of a global economic slowdown.
China’s February trade performance was far worse than economists had expected, with exports tumbling the most in over six years.
US stocks ended near session lows as investors sold out of energy stocks in late trade, and West Texas crude dropped 3.7 per cent to $US36.50 a barrel.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.6 per cent to 16,964.
The Nasdaq dropped 1.3 per cent to 4,649, while the S&P 500 dipped 1.1 per cent to 1,979.
Overnight, European shares touched a one-week low.
In London, the FTSE lost 0.9 per cent to 6,125, while the German DAX and the CAC 40 also both fell 0.9 per cent to 9,693 and 4,404 respectively.
Investors were also eyeing data for clues on the state of the global economy and the monetary policies of central banks around the world.
Locally, shares are set to follow global markets lower, with the ASX SPI 200 down 0.5 per cent to 5,086.
On commodities markets, iron ore climbed more than 1 per cent to hit a fresh nine-month high of $US63.30 a tonne, a day after soaring nearly 20 per cent.
Spot gold lost 1 per cent to $US1,261 an ounce.
– with reporting by Rod Myer