The rollercoaster ride continued overnight, with investors struggling through a third straight session of volatility, as weak economic data from Europe and disappointing earnings reports in the U.S. prompted a pullback in stocks, the euro and oil prices.
European stocks declined for a fourth session, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index falling to its lowest level this year, as commodity producers and automakers slid.
In London the FTSE 100 shed 60 points (-1%) to settle at 6244, whilst the German DAX slumped a whopping 180 points (-2.3%) to close at 7503. Stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a decline of 138 (-0.9%) to close at 14619, for a third straight session of triple-digit moves for the blue-chip index.
On Monday, the Dow suffered its biggest one-day decline this year, falling 266 points, before recovering most of those losses on Tuesday.
The three-day run of triple-digit moves is the first since late February, when an inconclusive Italian election cast uncertainty over Europe’s debt crisis.
The S&P500 gave up 23 points (-1.4%), to 1552.01, while the NASDAQ 60 (-1.8%), to 3205.
Spot gold prices advanced for a second day as global equities declined and on signs that physical demand is rebounding. Gold for immediate delivery gained 0.7% to $1,377.43 an ounce.
Oil fell to a four-month low as equities declined and U.S. output rose to a 20-year high. Crude for May delivery fell $2.04 (-2.3%) to $86.68 a barrel on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since 14 December.
The British pound fell the most in six weeks against the US dollar after government data showed the U.K. unemployment rate climbed and wage increases slowed, adding to signs the economy is weakening.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the latest NAB Quarterly Business Confidence reading, at 11:30am, AEST.