It was another scratchy performance from international markets overnight, with strokes of red and green spattered indiscriminately across the leaderboard.
In Europe the FTSE eked the tiniest of gains, adding half a point to 5892. The French CAC slipped four points (-0.1%) to 3527, whilst the German DAX gained 16 points (+0.2%) to 7071.
The German RWI institute raised its 2012 growth forecast to 1.0% but warned that risks remain large, whilst Greece confirmed it has appointed the deputy finance minister Sachinidis as the new finance minister.
Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 46 points (-0.4%) to settle at 13124, whilst the S&P (-0.2%) was also weaker but the Nasdaq was flat.
US existing home sales came in slightly weaker than expected; M/M 4.59mln vs. Exp. 4.61mln (Prev. 4.57mln, Rev. 4.63mln).
The Aussie dollar traded at its lowest level since January, reaching down to 1.0420, whilst the US dollar rose against most of its major counterparts as concern grew that risk-asset gains have outpaced prospects for economic growth, boosting appetite for the perceived safety of the greenback.
Commodities bounced back from the previous session’s losses, with copper (+0.3%), crude oil (+0.7%) and gold (+0.2%) all gaining ground.
Oil rose after the US Energy Department said that crude inventories unexpectedly dropped last week. The report showed supplies fell for the first time in five weeks and imports decreased.
In company news, Sigma Pharmaceuticals has revealed a FY11 net profit of $49.2 million, which compares to a $235.4 million loss a year earlier.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s sessions.