Australian investors can expect a rough ride when markets open after Wall Street suffered its worst trading session since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June.

Australian share futures were 79 points down, the equivalent of a 1.5 per cent fall, for when the ASX opens today. following on from the one per cent drop in Canberra on Friday.

Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James expects the local market will be playing catch-up to the two to 2.5 per cent drop among key US stock indices on Friday.

"A soggier start, I think, for our markets." He described the weakness among global shares as a combination of concerns over a potential interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in coming weeks and the European Central Bank sitting pat on monetary policy last week when further stimulus had been expected.


A range of business and consumer confidence readings will be released in Australia next week - the former will take into account the August interest rate cuts, while the latter will reflect last week's growth figures that showed the economy had survived 25 years without a recession.

But the key figures will be the jobs numbers for August on Thursday.

James expects 20,000 people joined the workforce last month, keeping the jobless rate at 5.7 per cent.

The June-quarter accounts last week showed growth at a four-year high of 3.3 per cent.