The Australian sharemarket opened more than half a per cent lower, following Wall Street's downward lead after a report showing a drop in small business sentiment and disappointing sales data.
At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 28.8 points, or 0.53%, lower at 5,385 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 28.6 points, or 0.53%, to 5,400.7 points.
The US Commerce Department said sales from wholesalers fell 1.9% in January, the biggest drop in four years.
"The extent of market concerns over China's economy and falling commodity prices looms as the dominant theme for the stock market today," CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner said.
"At the same time, investors remain alert to the potential for mounting risks in Ukraine."