Last night global markets gave back some of the strong gains from the previous session.
The UK’s FTSE 100 shed 33 points (-0.6%) to settle at 5870 whilst the CAC (-0.9%) also endured losses. The DAX closed flat.
Stateside the Dow Jones shed 44 points (-0.3%) to settle at 13198, whilst the S&P (-0.3%) and Nasdaq (-0.1%) were also weaker.
Investors failed to be enthused by consumer-confidence and home-price data that were in line with economists’ expectations.
In March US consumers remained confident about the economy and labour markets, according to a report by the Conference Board.
The private research group’s index dropped to 70.2 in March from an upwardly revised February reading of 71.6, which was the highest in a year.
US house prices fell in January from a month earlier, hitting 2003 levels, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index.
The data signals that the housing market remains sluggish despite soft prices and historically low interest rates.
In other economic news, activity among manufacturers in the central Atlantic region weakened but remained in expansion territory for the fourth-straight month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported.
The Aussie slipped back below the 1.05 handle and is currently buying US$1.046, whilst the Canadian loonie weakened against all but two of its 16 most-traded peers as investors exited positions in higher-risk assets.
Copper fell for the first time in three sessions in New York, whilst gold declined from a two-week high as the US dollar’s rebound eroded demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Crude was flat.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the RBA Financial Stability Review, at 11:30am, AEDT.