After solid gains in the previous session, global markets put in a mixed performance overnight as investors turned their nervous attention to looming elections in Greece.
Greece will hold elections Sunday and voters may endorse a party that wants to cancel the terms of Greece’s own bailout.
That would almost certainly force Greece to leave the euro currency.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 put on 10 points (+0.2%) to settle at 5484, whilst the French CAC (-0.6%) and German DAX (-0.1%) didn’t fare so well.
In a troubling sign for the eurozone region, Spain’s 10-year borrowing rate inched up to 6.71% from 6.67%.
Other countries in Europe have had to seek bailouts when their borrowing rates hit 7%.
Stateside, the Dow Jones gave up 77 points (-0.6%) to settle at 12496, whilst the S&P 500 (-0.7%) and tech-heavy NASDAQ (-0.9%) endured heavier declines.
US retail sales slipped 0.2% last month, following a similar decline in April that was previously reported as a gain.
May’s decline matched the median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg
The Aussie dollar was little changed overnight and is presently buying US$0.9950, whilst the euro strengthened for a second session versus the greenback as speculation increased Greece may seek to modify its austerity program in a bid to remain in the monetary bloc.
Oil tumbled to an eight-month low after a report showed that US retail sales weakened and as borrowing costs in Germany and Italy increased.
Crude oil for July delivery dropped 70 cents to $82.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since 6 October.
Elsewhere, copper slipped just 0.1% whilst bullion continued its recent advance, adding 0.3% to settle at US$1618 an ounce.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute inflation expectations, at 11:00am, AEST.