US equities followed European shares lower for the most part as banks sought more funds from the ECB than economists predicted.
Banks borrowed enough cash from the ECB at its first three-year offering to refinance almost two-thirds of the debt they have maturing next year on concern that markets will remain frozen.
In Europe the FTSE shed 30 points (-0.6%) to settle at 5390, whilst the CAC (-0.8%) and DAX (-1%) suffered through slightly heavier falls.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added just four points to settle at 12108, whilst the S&P 500 (+0.2%) eked out a modest gain and the Nasdaq (-1%) significantly underperformed.
The Aussie and Kiwi dollars swung between gains and losses amid concerns the ECB’s measures to boost liquidity may not stem the region’s debt crisis.
The Swiss franc fell against the euro and the US dollar after Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said a panel is considering measures, including capital controls and negative interest rates, to weaken the Swiss currency.
Crude oil rose for third consecutive session as inventories declined the most in a decade; crude added 1.5% to settle at US$98.67.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.