The local market opened flat after overseas markets lost ground as investors wait for news from the United States Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.
At the 1015 AEST official market open, the S&P/ASX 200 benchmark index was 0.17% lower at 5,037.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index also inched down 0.17% to 5,019.4 points.
Materials were mixed with the major miners gaining.
Rio Tinto put on 0.4% to $57.34, while BHP Billiton gained 0.38% to $34.68.
Fortescue Metals was unchanged at $3.65.
Whitehaven Coal shed 0.24% to $2.095, while Newcrest rose 0.74% to $12.24.
In energy, Santos added 0.22% to $13.67, Oil Search rose 0.5% to $8.03 and Woodside edged up 0.03% to $37.51.
Financial stocks were mixed, with three of the four big banks losing ground.
Commonwealth Bank added 0.18% to $73.99, while ANZ Banking Group shed 0.27% to $29.56.
National Australia Bank dropped 0.26% to $31.08, while Westpac Banking Corporation inched down 0.13% to $30.78.
Investment bank Macquarie Group rose 0.56% to $42.89.
IG analyst Evan Lucas pointed out that Asian markets yesterday closed lower as investors wait for information expected this week.
"The lacklustre trade is due to so many unknown quantities from macro data that are due in the next three to four days, plus earning season kicking off next week," Mr Lucas said.
Locally, he expects "a soft trading morning before [Reserve Bank governor] Glenn Stevens' speech".
In local economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release building approvals data for June on Tuesday.
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens is scheduled to deliver a speech at a function in Sydney, and the Housing Industry Association publishes its trades report for June quarter.
In company news, Woolworths will release its fourth quarter sales.
Laboratory operator ALS holds its annual general meeting in Brisbane, Drillsearch Energy releases its quarterly report and education firm Navitas releases its full year financial results.
The market on Monday was pushed higher by shares in the four major banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 4.3 points, or 0.09%, to 5046.3, and the broader All Ordinaries index added 4.1 points, or 0.08%, to 5027.9.