After huge gains in the previous session, global markets were more subdued overnight.
In Europe, the FTSE put on 64 points (+1.2%) to settle at 5448, whilst the French CAC (+0.4%) and German DAX (+0.8%) underperformed their British peer.
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on 46 points (+0.4%) to settle at 12461, whilst the S&P (flat) and NASDAQ (-0.5%) didn’t fare so well.
It was the third consecutive winning session for the Dow, fuelled by China’s moves to stir growth, but an early rally faded after the Fed offered little new direction about additional stimulus.
Benchmarks indices eased back from the session’s highs after Federal Chairman Ben stopped short of signalling new stimulus measures in testimony before Congress.
Investors were interested in whether he would hint at additional stimulus action.
The Aussie dollar reached parity but couldn’t hold onto its gains, peeling lower to presently be buying US$0.99.
The yen fell against most its major counterparts after China cut its key interest rates for the first time since 2008, damping appetite for refuge assets.
Oil fell after Federal Chairman Bernanke said the economy is at risk from Europe’s debt crisis and the prospect of fiscal tightening, tempering optimism over a cut in Chinese interest rates.
Crude oil for July delivery declined 20 cents to settle at $84.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the first drop since June 1. Futures are down 14% this year.
Elsewhere, copper gained 1.2% whilst gold tumbled, with bullion giving up 2.6% to settle at US$1594 an ounce.
In company news, Telecom has confirmed its FY12 financial guidance and said that it remains on track to deliver 2H FY12 adjusted EBITDA of around $560 million.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the trade balance and home loans, both slated for release at 11:30am, AEST.
We will also hear from RBA governor Stevens, starting from 1:30pm, AEST.