Despite a positive start, US markets suffered another loss overnight, extending their slump into a second consecutive session. The Dow shed 26 points (-0.2%), closing at 13077, whilst the Nasdaq and S&P500 both recorded falls of 0.3%.
The growing disappointment with the third quarter earnings season overshadowed data showing a bigger-than-expected rise in September new home sales to a two-year high.
Also weighing on sentiment was the latest Fed meeting in which Ben Bernanke warned hiring growth was slow and the US economy was improving only modestly.
Oil continued its slide, losing 1.1% to US$85.33 a barrel after a supply report showed a massive climb in weekly US inventories. Gold slipped 0.4% to US$1703 after the Fed refrained from expanding QE3 in response to its downbeat economic assessment.
In the currency space, the US dollar managed a modest gain against the euro following a shock slump in German business confidence and a worrying PMI reading out of the eurozone.
The Aussie dollar was a bright spot, rising 0.7% to US$1.0338 after yesterday’s September quarter inflation reading reduced the odds of an RBA rate cut next month.
There is no major economic data due for release today.