Global markets lost ground overnight, with losses throughout Europe and the US.
The UK’s FTSE 100 shed 61 points (-1%) to settle at 5809, whilst the French CAC (-1.1%)and German DAX (-1.1%) lost a similar amount.
Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 72 points (-0.5%) to settle at 13126, whilst the S&P (-0.5%) and Nasdaq (-0.5%) were also weaker.
US stocks fell for the fifth time in seven days as commodities tumbled and investors eyed disappointing US and European economic data and weakness in overseas markets.
The Aussie dollar continued its recent retreat and is now trading below the US$1.04 handle, whilst the yen rose against the US dollar and euro as concern the rate of global economic growth is slowing spurred demand for safer assets as the nation approaches its fiscal year end.
Oil dropped for the first time in four days after the US Energy Department said inventories climbed the most in 20 months and as Western nations considered releasing crude from strategic reserves.
Oil gave up 1.7% to settle at US$105.53 a barrel, whilst the gold (-1.4%) and copper (-2.2%) also lost ground.
In company news, Leighton Holdings has announced further write-downs of its Airport Link and Victorian Desalination Projects. The write-downs are expected to wipe off $254 million from FY12 pre-tax profit.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.