After some solid gains in the previous session, international markets slumped again overnight.
In Europe, the FTSE tumbled 94 points (-1.7%) to settle at 5297, whilst the CAC (-2.2%) and DAX (-1.8%) endured heavier falls.
European markets pared some losses but remained broadly lower as Spain’s banking crisis intensified.
The ECB said they would oppose an attempt by Spain to use the central bank’s lending facilities to fund the EUR19 billion recapitalization of troubled bank Bankia.
Spain then clarified its Bankia bailout plan by saying it would raise the funds through an auction of treasury bonds.
Stateside, the Dow Jones lost 161 points (-1.3%) to settle at 12420, whilst the S&P (-1.4%) and Nasdaq (-1.2%) were also sharply lower.
The Aussie dollar slumped further and is now buying US$0.97, whilst Canada’s dollar depreciated the most in a week as turmoil in the Spanish banking sector added to signs Europe’s debt crisis is spreading to the region’s larger economies, boosting demand for safety.
Oil tumbled to a seven-month low on speculation that US crude stockpiles climbed to the highest level since 1990 and as the euro weakened on concern that the debt crisis will overwhelm Spain.
Oil for July delivery fell $2.94 to $87.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Oct. 21. Prices have decreased 16% this month, heading for the biggest drop since December 2008.
Elsewhere, copper slipped 2.5% whilst gold bucked the trend on safe-haven demand, with bullion adding 0.8% to settle a US$1564.
In company news, David Jones reported 3Q FY12 sales of $399.8 million, down 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. The group also reaffirmed its guidance for FY12.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of building approvals, private capital expenditure and private sector credit (11:30am, AEDT).