Global equity markets were fairly subdued overnight with investors remaining on the fence with regard to prospects for economic growth, particularly with the unresolved Greek debt issue hanging over their heads.
In Europe the FTSE added 11 points (+0.2%) to settle at 5682, whilst the CAC enjoyed a 1% gain and DAX added 0.2%.
The European Commission opened the door to a possible softening of Spain’s deficit target, reflecting widespread acknowledgement that the existing goal is near-unattainable.
In other news out of the region, it is reported that bondholders negotiating a debt swap with Greece may get a sweetener tied to a revival in economic growth that would ease the impact of accepting a lower interest rate on the new bonds.
Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 21 points (-0.2%) to settle at 12633, whilst the S&P closed just one point lower and the Nasdaq added two points.
The move lower for the S&P sent the index to its longest decline since November, as reports showed consumer confidence trailed economists’ projections and business activity cooled.
The Aussie dollar recovered over the last 24-hours and is trading back towards the US$1.06 handle, whilst the euro fell to its weakest level in almost a week versus the greenback as investors speculated EU policymakers won’t be able to reach agreement over Greece.
Oil shed 0.3% to US$98.48 a barrel in a volatile trading session following the weaker-than-expected US economic data.
Base metal prices retreated with copper falling for a third consecutive session, down 1.4%.
Gold rallied in the last hour of trade finishing 0.3% higher at US$1,740.40 an ounce. For the month gold rose 11%.
In company news, Boral says it expects a 1H12 net operating profit of $65 million – $70 million, in line with the prior corresponding period’s result.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of new home sales, the house price index (11:30am, AEDT) and commodity prices (4:30pm AEDT).
There is also manufacturing PMI data due out of China at midday, AEDT, which could impact our market.