Red ink lit up the leaderboard yet again overnight as Greece struggled to form a government and concern grew that Spanish banks are underfunded.
In Europe the FTSE shed 25 points (-0.4%) to settle at 5530, whilst the CAC gave up 0.2% and the DAX bucked the trend, adding 0.5%.
Stateside, the Dow Jones slumped to a sixth consecutive losing session by giving up 97 points (-0.8%) to settle at 12835, whilst the S&P (-0.7%) and Nasdaq (-0.4%) were also weaker.
The Aussie dollar slumped, slipping back below the US$1.01 handle, whist the euro weakened against the US dollar for an eighth session, the longest stretch since September 2008, as Greece’s struggle to form a new government fuelled concern the nation will leave Europe’s currency union.
Commodities fell, marking the longest slump since August, as a global equity rout and an unravelling bailout of Greece increased the risk that a slowdown in the global economy will curb demand for raw materials.
Oil fell a sixth day in New York, the longest losing streak in almost two years, as U.S. crude supplies rose and Greece struggled to form a government, adding to concern that Europe’s economy is weakening.
Gold dropped to a four-month low as deepening political turmoil in Greece boosted the appeal of the dollar as a safe-haven and curbed demand for precious metals as alternative assets. Silver fell to the lowest since January.
In company news, NAB reported 1H FY12 cash earnings of $2.82 billion, a 6% rise compared to the same period in 2011.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of employment change and the unemployment rate, at 11:30am, AEST.