Red ink lit up the international leaderboard by the end of last night’s international session, following volatile trade in both Europe and the US.
Confusion over Greece’s political future extended the recent stock slide, with markets bumped around by concerns about the country’s possible exit from the common-currency area.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 gave up 32 points (-0.6%) to settle at 5405, whilst the CAC (+0.3%) bucked the trend but the DAX (-0.3%) didn’t fare so well.
Stateside, the Dow Jones lost 33 points (-0.3%) to settle at 12599, whilst the S&P 500 (-0.4%) and Nasdaq (-0.7%) were also weaker.
The Aussie dollar slipped lower and is now buying US$0.9920, whilst the euro fell to a fresh four-month low against the greenback after the ECB said it will temporarily stop lending to some Greek banks and as the nation’s leaders prepare for a second election.
Commodities fell as talks to form a Greek government failed, boosting speculation that the country may quit the euro, and data from the U.S. and Japan added to concern an economic slowdown may reduce demand.
Gold, on the brink of a bear market, declined for a fourth straight session as concern that Greece will have to leave the euro boosted the dollar and cut the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset.
Bullion gave up 1.2% to settle at US$1540 an ounce.
Oil fell to the lowest level in more than six months as U.S. supplies grew to the most since 1990 and talks to form a coalition government in Greece collapsed, raising concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen.
Crude oil for June delivery fell $1.17, or 1.2%, to $92.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since 2 November.
Crude has fallen 15% since closing at the 2012 high of $109.77 a barrel on 24 February.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute inflation expectations.