International markets were generally weaker overnight, as Germany’s five-year note yield fell to a record amid concern about employment markets in Europe and the US.
In Europe the FTSE slipped 54 points (-0.9%) to settle at 5758, whilst the CAC (+0.4%) and DAX (-0.8%) were mixed.
German unemployment rose in April as euro-area manufacturing shrank for a ninth month and more than initially estimated, according to reports.
Stateside, the Dow slipped just 11 points (-0.1%) to settle at 13269, whilst the S&P 500 shed 0.3% and the Nasdaq gained 0.3%.
American companies added 119,000 workers in April, according to figures from ADP Employer Services, 51,000 fewer than the median economist forecast and damping optimism about the economy before government jobs data in two days. U. factory orders decreased.
The Aussie dollar slipped lower overnight and is now holding just above the US$1.03 handle, whilst the euro weakened for a third session against the greenback, the longest losing streak in almost a month, after data showed European manufacturing shrank and unemployment rose in Germany, adding to concern the debt crisis will worsen.
Oil fell after the US Energy Department reported that crude inventories surged to the highest level in more than 21 years and production and imports climbed. Crude shed 0.8% to settle at US$105.31 a barrel.
Gold declined the most in a week after three voting members of the FOMC said they don’t see a need for more economic stimulus and as physical demand slumped in India, the world’s biggest importer. Gold gave up 0.4% to settle at US$1656 an ounce.
In company news, Westpac reported a 1% rise in cash earnings to $3.195 billion for 1H FY12, the results was slightly ahead of consensus forecasts of $3.11 billion.
There is no major local data due out during today’s session.