International markets were collectively weaker over the last 24-hours with the selloff that started in Asia yesterday accelerating into the European and US sessions last night.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 gave up 56 points (-1%) to settle at 5566, whilst the French CAC (-0.4%) and German DAX (-0.8%) also lost ground.
In the US the Dow Jones slumped 251 points (-2%) to settle at 12574, whilst the S&P (-2.2%) and NASDAQ (-2.4%) endured even heavier falls.
Global growth worries slammed stocks, triggering a bearish recommendation from Goldman Sachs that accelerated declines and helped drive major benchmarks to their second-biggest losses of the year.
The Dow inched higher at the open, but quickly turned red after Mid-Atlantic manufacturers said that business conditions deteriorated sharply this month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Elsewhere, the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell slightly last week, though the prior week’s figure was revised higher, indicating the labor market is sputtering.
The Aussie dollar slipped back below the 1.01 handle and is presently buying US$1.0040, whilst the euro fell the most in five months against the greenback as Moody’s Investors Service lowered credit ratings on 15 global banks, adding to concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening.
Commodities collectively tumbled into a bear market as US reports on manufacturing, jobless claims and home sales signaled a faltering economy after the Federal Reserve refrained from announcing another round of stimulus.
The Goldman Sachs Commodity Index has dropped 22 percent from this year’s highest close of 715.52 on 24 February.
Oil in New York tumbled below $80 a barrel and Brent crude fell under $90 as reports signalling a global economic slowdown added to concern that demand will slow amid rising supplies.
Crude futures for August delivery fell $3.25 to $78.20 a barrel on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since Oct. 4. Crude prices are down 21% in 2012.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.