Australian stocks were more than 1.5 per cent lower at noon following losses on Wall Street and falls for the mining giants.
At 1200 AEST on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 72.1 points, or 1.64 per cent, at 4,323.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 74.5 points, or 1.67 per cent, to 4,384.9 points.
On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was 74 points lower at 4,317 points, with 20,170 contracts traded.
RBS Morgans private client adviser Bill Bishop said the local market was lower due to falls on Wall Street caused by lower than expected US job figures.
"They got 60,000 to 70,000 jobs lower than expected which caused Wall Street to go down and America sets the tone for the rest of us," he said.
"In the local market the banks have taken a mild knock and resources have taken a big fat knock."
Most European stock markets fell sharply on Friday and the euro lost ground, but French borrowing rates eased as traders braced for weekend elections there and in Greece.
London's FTSE 100 index lost 1.93 per cent to close at 5,655.06 points, the Paris CAC 40 shed 1.90 per cent to 3,161.97 points and in Frankfurt the DAX 30 slid 1.99 per cent to 6,561.47.
US stocks plummeted on Friday after the release of disappointing jobs data for April, with tech giants leading the way on fears that consumer spending would weaken.
At the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 168.32 points, or 1.27 per cent, to 13,038.27.
In economic news on Monday, the Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association's performance of construction index (PCI) fell 1.3 points to 34.9 in April.
However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that Australian residential building approvals rose 7.4 per cent to 11,501 units in March.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) Business Survey, released on Monday, showed business conditions fell three index points to zero in April.
The ANZ Job Ads data for April is also due out later on Monday.
In equities news, Orica reported a net profit of $253.3 million for the six months to March 31, down from $263.8 million in the previous corresponding period.
Shares in Orica were 12 cents lower at $26.42.
The mining giants were all lower on Monday.
BHP Billiton was $1.24 lower at $34.79, Fortescue Metals was 20 cents lower at $5.33 and Rio Tinto dropped $2.39 to $62.52.
The four major banks were also down.
ANZ was cents 27 cents lower at $23.17, National Australia Bank was down 34 cents to $24.80, Westpac dropped 16 cents to $22.75 and Commonwealth Bank was 23 cents lower at $52.39.
National turnover was 996 million securities worth $1.884 billion, with stocks 166 up, 741 down and 308 unchanged.