The Australian sharemarket is trading in a narrow range in early trade with investors wary after a weaker close on Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was down just 0.02 per cent after the first half-hour of trade on Tuesday, with energy and financial shares weighing the most on the index.

With no major news expected locally, investors are simply taking cues from the overnight trade in international markets, Australian Stock Report’s head of trading Chris Conway said.

“We are expecting today’s session to be subdued because of the weaker trading on Wall Street,” he said.

“If we can end within 10 points of yesterday’s closing level, that will be considered a win.”

Overnight, US stocks declined as each of the major Wall Street indexes retreated from a record, weighed down by a drop in technology and industrial shares.

Locally, energy stocks were the major drag, though oil prices were little changed.

Shares in Oil Search and Beach Energy were down more than one per cent each while Woodside, Santos and Origin were also weaker.

Financial stocks were also under pressure, with each of the big four banks in the red.

However, mining shares were higher, with gold miners leading the way and BHP and Fortescue up nearly one per cent.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is slightly lower against the US dollar, with traders a little nervous ahead of Wednesday’s consumer price index data and some strength in the greenback.

The local currency was trading at US78.13¢ at 1035 AEDT on Tuesday, from US78.31¢ on Monday.


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October 24, 2017