International markets lost ground overnight, with weakness which emanated in Asia spreading throughout Europe and the US.
In Europe, the FTSE (-0.2%) and the CAC (-0.8%) lost ground whilst the DAX (+0.3%) managed to eke out a modest gain.
Stateside, the Dow lost 88 points (-0.7%) whilst the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.6%.
With debt negotiations on Capital Hill reaching impasse for another day, traders reduced risk and poured money into safe-haven assets.
The losses weren’t as pronounced as they could have been however; at one stage yesterday the Dow futures were pointing to a 140 point fall.
The Canadian dollar traded close to the strongest level since November 2007 overnight with investors seeking shelter from risk and amid speculation the Canadian central bank will raise rates later this year.
Elsewhere, the US dollar continued to slide against the Swiss franc and Japanese yen, with the former reaching a record against the greenback.
The Swiss franc has risen by 30% over the past year against the US dollar and by more than 4% so far in July.
Amongst the commodities, gold continued to benefit from safe-haven buying, adding 0.7% overnight, whilst copper added 0.8% and crude shed 0.7%.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the CB leading index (10:00am, AEST).
We will also hear from RBA Governor Stevens, commencing at 1:05pm, AEST.