Global markets were little changed once again overnight, with major indices of both sides of the pond moving no more than half a percent.
European markets pared early losses to finish the day down slightly, as comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi boosted hopes the ECB will act to stabilize the borrowing costs of the euro-zone’s frail economies.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 shed 32 points (-0.5%) to settle at 5744, whilst the French CAC (-0.5%) and German DAX (-0.1%) ended down slightly.
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on four points to settle at 13107, whilst the S&P added just one point and the Nasdaq four.
US stocks finished a touch higher as investors calibrated two positive readings on the economy against hopes for more help from the Federal Reserve.
A revision to US GDP in the second quarter showed growth at 1.7% annual rate, higher than an original reading of 1.5% and in-line with economists’ expectations.
Pending home sales for July increased 2.4% in July after declining 1.4% in June. The rise exceeded the 1% gain expected by analysts and pushed the number of pending home sales to the highest since April 2010.
The US dollar gained against most major peers as the Federal Reserve said the US economy continued to expand “gradually,” damping speculation the central bank will engage in a third round of quantitative easing.
Oil fell after US crude stockpiles unexpectedly gained and Hurricane Isaac made landfall, reducing the threat to offshore platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude oil for October delivery declined 84 cents to settle at $95.49 a barrel on the NYMEX. Futures have fallen 3.4% this year.
In company news, Lend Lease has reported an FY12 net profit of $501.4 million, up 1.7% from the prior year.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of building approvals and private capital expenditure, both slated for release at 11:30am, AEST.