Risk appetites weakened as US President Trump formally withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Trump also talked of a "substantial border tax". Investor attention is turning to the protectionist policies of the new Trump administration and away from the fiscal stimulus. Moreover, there was little data for markets to focus on.
Share markets fell - the Dow slipped 0.2% while the S&P500 dropped 0.4%.
Yields on US treasuries fell, as the more risk averse environment supported demand for safe-haven bonds. US 10-year yields dropped 7 basis points to 2.40%.
Australian bond yields (based on futures) slipped - the 3-year fell 2 basis points to 2.02% while the 10-year dropped 3 basis points to 2.76%.
The US dollar index weakened to its lowest in seven weeks on concerns over Trump's protectionist stance.
GBP ground higher to 1.25 against the USD on expectations the May government will lose an appeal against requiring parliamentary approval to trigger article 50, the formal step for Brexit.
The Australian dollar was mostly steady, trading within the range of US$0.755 and US$0.759.
Oil prices weakened on data showing a lift in US oil rigs from US drillers.
An increase in US oil supply would at least partly offset OPEC's commitment to cut production. Concerns over Trump's policies however, were supportive of gold prices.
The weaker US dollar also helped to prop up prices of commodities, including copper.
No domestic data releases to report.
The all industry activity index rose by 0.3% in November. This was just below consensus expectations for an increase of 0.4%. It followed a downwardly revised flat result in October, previously reported as a 0.2% increase.
No major data to report.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.