International markets finished collectively weaker yet again overnight, amidst concerns over how the US budget debate will pan out and the eurozone’s position on rendering financial aid to Greece’s as the nation’s Prime Minister finally secured the approval for further budget cuts
European markets were negatively affected after a European Commission member said that the decision to release funds to aid Greece will likely be announced late November.
Britain’s FTSE shed 16 points (-0.3%) to settle at 5776 whilst the German DAX lost 29 points (-0.4%) to settle at 7205. In the US, the Dow Jones lost 121 points (-1%) to settle at 12811 while the S&P shed 17 points (-1.2%) to settle at 1378 and the Nasdaq declined 42 points (-1.4%) to settle at 2896.
In the commodity space, gold prices rose 0.7% to settle at $1726 an ounce, as investors prepare to hedge against inflation. Year-to-date, bullion is up 10%.
Crude oil for December delivery increased 65 cents to settle at $85.09 a barrel as US statistics showed a contraction in jobless benefits claims. In the currency space, the yen strengthened against the US dollar as investors sought a safe-haven while awaiting news on the US fiscal cliff.
The euro also traded at its lowest since September for the same reasons European markets tanked. Today will see the release of the RBA Monetary Policy Statement (11:30am, AEDT).