International markets were mixed with US equities finishing in the red overnight whilst European equities finished in the green. In the US, President Obama is scheduled to meet with the US Congress tomorrow to discuss the upcoming budget cuts and tax increases of over $600 billion.
In Europe, eurozone finance ministers have yet to come to an agreement with financial aid for Greece. The Dow Jones fell 59 points (-0.5%) to settle at 12756 whilst the S&P declined six points (-0.4%) to settle at 1375. The Nasdaq lost 20 points (-0.7%) to settle at 2884.
The UK’s FTSE gained 19 points (+0.3%) to settle at 5786 as Spanish bond yields declined due to speculation that the country will soon request a bailout. Germany’s DAX traded flat to settle at 7169 whilst France’s CAC added 19 points (+0.6%) to settle at 3431.
In the commodity space, crude oil for December delivery shed 19 cents to settle at $85.38 a barrel as the International Energy Agency lowered demand figures and US inventories are speculated to be at their highest since August.
Gold also declined 0.4% to settle at $1724.80/oz as investors sought the greenback amidst uncertainties in the US and eurozone. In the currency space, the Japanese yen strengthened against most of its peers for the same reasons gold fell.
The British pound advanced against its counterparts due to signs that its economy is picking up and worries over the eurozone. The US dollar traded at its highest since September for the same reasons the yen advanced.
Today will see the receipt of the Westpac consumer sentiment (10:30am, AEDT) and the wage price index (11:30am, AEDT).