In Europe the FTSE managed to post a gain, adding 1.1%, whilst the CAC (-1.1%) and DAX (-1%) didn’t fare so well.
The European session was particularly weak and it translated into an early slump for US markets, with worries about the debt crisis continuing to weigh heavily.
When the Dow opened it quickly traded down 300 points but a better-than-expected August ISM manufacturing number helped the market bounce back in the final hour of trade.
By the closing bell the Dow was off 101 points (-0.9%), settling at 11139, whilst the broader S&P 500 gave up 0.7% and the Nasdaq shed 0.3%.
It was the third straight losing session for US markets, sending the S&P to its worst-ever three-day start to September.
The big news in currency markets was the Swiss National Bank’s decision to put a ceiling on its exchange rate, saying that it would no longer allow the euro to fall below 1.20 Swiss francs.
Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar traded within one cent of parity with the greenback ahead of tonight’s Bank of Canada meeting.
Crude oil moved higher from the previous session’s electronic session close overnight but lower from Friday’s physical session close. The black gold settled at US$86.02 a barrel.
Gold pulled back from another record high overnight after the Swiss Bank intervention. Bullion touched an all-time high of US$1923.70 an ounce before settling at US$1873.30 an ounce.
In company news, MQG expects its 1H12 result to be lower than its 1H11 result. FY12 guidance is dependant on conditions not deteriorating.
Today’s session will bring us the all important GDP numbers, which are slated for release at 11:30, AEST.