International markets finished firmly weaker overnight due to lack of progress regarding the US budget discussions, with President Obama saying nothing more than ‘negotiations are still in progress’. Conversely, House Speaker John Boehner is seemingly of the opinion that the President’s proposed solution is not balanced.
The lack of progress overshadowed positive US economic data showing that jobless benefit claims declined by 29,000 whilst retail sales in November increased.
The UK’s FTSE fell by 16 points (-0.3%) to settle at 5930 whilst Germany’s DAX declined 33 points (-0.4%) to settle at 7582. France’s CAC shed 4 points (-0.1%) to settle at 3643.
In the US, the Dow Jones decreased 75 points (-0.6%) to settle at 13171 whilst the S&P fell nine points (-0.6%) to settle at 1419. The Nasdaq declined 22 points (-0.7%) to settle at 2992.
In the commodity space, crude oil for January delivery shed $0.88 to settle at $85.89a barrel after Boehner said that the looming fiscal cliff is not being taken seriously enough. Gold for February delivery shed 0.9% to settle at $1701.80.
In the currency space, the Japanese yen fell against the US dollar and the euro amid speculation that the opposition party in Japan will win the elections over the weekend.
The euro traded higher against most of its peers after EU leaders moved a step closer to forming a euro area banking union. The US dollar advanced against the euro as investors sought the currency’s safety on the back of budget discussions. There will be no major local economic data released today.