Global markets pulled back a touch overnight as the bulls took a breather after their recent strong run higher. European markets lost ground, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.3% after reaching a 15-month high on Friday, after a Eurogroup meeting failed to produce any clear results.
In London the UK market shed 22 points (-0.4%) to settle at 5894, whilst the French CAC (-0.8%) and German DAX (-0.1%) also lost ground. The region’s finance ministers remained divided over the issue of a banking union and over the timing of the implementation of banking reform.
Stateside, the Dow Jones finished 40 points (-0.3%) weaker, at 13553, whilst the S&P (-0.3%) and NASDAQ (-0.2%) suffered similar declines. It was the first losing session in five for US markets, with weakness in Europe and China and continued violent protests in the Middle East leaving investors on edge.
The yen weakened to four-month low versus the euro as investors speculated the Bank of Japan will expand monetary easing at its meeting this week.
Oil declined more than $3 in less than a minute as October options were about to expire, ending the day with the largest drop in eight weeks. Oil for October delivery fell $2.38 (-2.4%), to settle at $96.62 a barrel on the NYMEX. Prices are down 2.2%. The decline was the largest since July 23.
Today’s session will bring us the latest monetary policy meeting minutes, at 11:30am, AEST.