European stocks declined, paring an 11th straight month of gains, as a report showed business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly shrank this month.
U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index from a record high, on slower growth in American payrolls and manufacturing as the Federal Reserve said it will maintain its bond buying to support the economy.
The S&P500 fell 0.9% to 1,583, whilst the Dow Jones slipped 139 (-0.9%) to 14,701. More than 6.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, or 4.4% above the three-month average.
Gold fell the most in two weeks as the Federal Reserve signaled it is ready to curb a bond-buying program as needed and inflation remained in check, eroding demand for the precious metal as a hedge.
Gold futures for June delivery retreated 1.8% to settle at $1,446.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop since April 15, when prices slumped the most in 33 years.
Oil fell for a second day on signs of economic slowdown in the U.S. and China and after an industry group said U.S. stockpiles climbed for the first time in three weeks.
Crude for June delivery retreated $2.60 (-2.8%) to $90.86 a barrel New York Mercantile Exchange.
In currency markets, the US Dollar Index fell for a fifth session as the Federal Reserve said it will maintain its bond buying at a pace of $85 billion a month and is prepared to raise or lower the level of purchases as economic conditions evolve.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of building approvals and import prices, both slated for release at 11:30am, AEST.