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The Australian sharemarket is lower as nervous traders and investors respond to another slide in oil prices.

US oil prices tumbled to a fresh five-and-a-half-year low of US$47.93 ($59.49) a barrel overnight, which led to a further decline in ASX listed energy stocks on Wednesday.

CMC Markets Chief Market Strategist Michael McCarthy said the slide in oil was also hurting stocks across the market.

"There is only one official sector in the green and that's property, so clearly the real assets and steady incomes in that sector seem to be attracting investors at the moment," he said.

He said gold miners and bond prices were also higher.

"It does suggest that overall there is a more cautious mindset among investors at the moment," Mr McCarthy said.

Oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum had slumped 52 cents to $35.94 at noon, while Santos shed eight cents to $7.47.

Global miner BHP Billiton dipped 14 cents to $27.97, Rio Tinto lost 71 cents to $57.22, and Fortescue Metals eased five cents to $2.74.



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