US markets finished slightly weaker overnight following subdued earnings results from the financial sector.
A bigger-than-expected jump in Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity was not enough to ignite Wall Street.
Instead, sentiment was hurt by banking giants, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, who both reported fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations.
The Dow shed 65 points (-0.4%) to 16417, the S&P500 slipped two points (-0.1%) to 1846, whilst the Nasdaq put on four points (+0.1%) to 4219.
There was little action in commodity markets, with oil flat and gold rising slightly on the back of a weaker US dollar.
The greenback came under pressure from outgoing Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, who again defended the central bank’s stimulus policies
Elsewhere, the Aussie was sold off following yesterday’s awful domestic jobs report for December, which has raised speculation of another RBA rate cut.
There is no major economic data due for release today.