Weaker-than-expected US GDP data also weighed on the market’s psyche, curbing optimism following a recent spate of solid economic data.
In Europe the FTSE shed 62 points (-1.1%) to settle at 5733, whilst the CAC (-1.3%) and DAX (-0.4%) also lost ground.
Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 74 points (-0.6%) to settle at 12661, whilst the broader S&P was only 0.2% weaker and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (+0.4%) actually gained ground.
The US economy grew at a 2.8% annual pace in the December quarter, up from 1.8% in the September quarter. Economists had tipped a growth rate near 3%. Consumer sentiment rose from 74.0 to 75.0 in January.
Oil was flat at US$99.56 a barrel, with softer-than-expected US economic growth data offset by news that ConocoPhillips will shut its gasoline unit at the Bayway refinery in New Jersey.
Base metals were mixed; nickel rose 0.5% and tin rose 1.6% but other metals lost ground.
Gold rose slightly, adding 0.4% to US$1,740 an ounce on the back of a weaker US dollar.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.