It was a tale of two halves overnight, with gains in Europe scuppered by losses in the US. In London the FTSE 100 added 21 points (+0.4%) to settle at 5860, whilst the French CAC (+0.5%) and German DAX (+0.2%) also recorded gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 101 points (-0.8%) to settle at 13458, whilst the S&P (-1.1%) and NASDAQ (-1.4%) suffered heavier falls.
It was the worst sell-off on the Street in three months after a Federal Reserve official said he doubted the bank’s effort to boost economic growth would work.
Charles Plosser, president of the Fed’s Philadelphia branch, told an audience that the Fed’s effort to support the economy would likely fall short of its goals.
Three economic reports gave the stock market a boost however.
US house prices rose in major cities for a third straight month, and a gauge of consumer confidence came in surprisingly high.
More surprising than those two economic reports was the Richmond Federal Reserve’s strong reading on regional manufacturing, a recent trouble spot.
The US dollar rose to an almost two- week high against the euro as a Federal Reserve official’s comment the central bank actions won’t boost economic growth outweighed better-than-forecast data on home prices and consumer confidence.
Oil fell to a seven-week low on Plosser’s comments. Crude oil for November delivery dropped 56 cents to $91.37 a barrel on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since 2 August. Crude is down 7.5% this year.
There is no major local data due out during today’s session.