Renewed concerns about China’s economic growth weighed on stocks over the last 24-hours, sending all major indices lower.
In Europe the FTSE shed 70 points (-1.2%) to settle at 5891, whilst the French CAC (-1.3%) and German DAX (-1.4%) suffered similar declines.
Stateside, the Dow Jones gave up 69 points (-0.5%) to settle at 13170, whilst the S&P 500 (-0.3%) and Nasdaq (-0.1%) were also weaker.
Construction of US single-family homes skidded 9.9% in February, the largest drop in a year, while multifamily homes posted a 21% gain. Permits for new construction reached their highest levels in nearly 3½ years last month.
The Aussie dollar continued its recent retreat, shedding almost a cent in overnight trade to current be trading around US$1.048, whilst the US dollar rose against most of its major counterparts as concern increased that China’s economic growth outlook has cooled.
Commodities were generally weaker with copper (-1.7%), crude oil (-2.3%) and gold (-1.1%) all slipping lower.
In company news, David Jones says it expects FY12 net profit to plunge 35% to 40% amid rising costs and slumping revenue.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute Leading Index, at 10:30am, AEDT.