Aust stocks tipped to open lower

Record closes on Wall Street unlikely to carry through to local trade as commodities retreat.

The Australian sharemarket is expected to open a little weaker, dragged down by mining and energy stocks.

At 7am (AEST), the March share price index futures contract was down eight points at 5,495.

In economic news, the bureau of statistics releases business indicators for the March quarter, as well as building approvals data.

TD Securities and the Melbourne Institute release their inflation gauge for May, and the Australian Industry Group releases its performance of manufacturing index for May.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will also publish its index of commodity prices for May.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said oil, gold, iron ore and base metals were down when Wall Street closed on Saturday morning, and that was reflected in shares of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton in London trade.

Traders showed some caution amid concerns over the Chinese economy, with new data due out on the weekend, Mr James said.

"A lot of the traders didn't want to go into the weekend too exposed, so basically they squared up their books ahead of the data."

"I think we're going to see a degree of strength for the banks, the retailers, general industrial stocks, but in terms of the resources sector, they may be in for a little bit of weakness," Mr James told AAP.

"We might see a degree of caution in Monday's trade."

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold on Tuesday and on Wednesday the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release economic growth figures for the March quarter.

Mr James tipped growth of 0.75%, taking annual growth to just over 3% for the year.

The market on Friday closed lower, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropping 15 points to 5,504.5 and the broader All Ordinaries index shed 13.9 points to 5,485.3.

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