International equity markets finished with modest losses overnight after US corporate earnings results missed expectations economic data disappointed. In the US, jobless claims fell to 366,000 in the previous week but this was worse than the expected fall to 360,000.
Moreover, the country’s productivity fell to a 2% annual rate—much lower than the prior month’s 3.2%. In Europe, ECB President Mario Draghi said that the euro’s recent strength might not be beneficial for the region.
European indices responded in kind, with the FTSE shedding 67 points (-1.1%) to settle at 6228, whilst Germany’s DAX added just 10 points (+0.1%) to settle at 7591. France’s CAC fell 42 points (-1.2%) to settle at 3601.
In the US, the Dow Jones fell 42 points (-0.3%) to settle at 13944 whilst the S&P declined three points (-0.2%) to settle at 1509. The Nasdaq decreased three points (-0.1%) to settle at 3165.
In the commodity space, both oil and gold finished lower for the same reasons markets finished in the red. March delivery crude fell $0.79 to settle at $95.83 per barrel whilst gold futures for April delivery declined $7.50 to settle at $1,671.30.
In the currency space, the Japanese yen finished higher than the euro but was little changed against the US dollar for the same reasons that affected the equity markets. The euro fell against most of its peers after Draghi’s comments raised concerns in the region.
The US dollar finished higher as the disappointing data from the US and uncertainty in the eurozone increased investor demand for the safer currency. Today will see the RBA release its monetary policy statement (11:30am, AEDT).