After what was looking like a sustained reprieve for the recent indiscriminate selling, markets began to focus on the negatives once again with Europe front row and centre. US stocks erased some of the gains seen earlier in the week with the S&P500 finishing over 2 percent in the red. The Euro pared gains but the convincing losers were commodity currencies with the Aussie, Kiwi and CAD all taking a solid hit against the greenback.
Commodity markets suffered as participants flocked to the perceived safety of the US dollar, in-turn providing natural resistance for precious metals with gold and silver falling 2.5 and 6.3 percent respectively over the last 24-hours. Losses across Gold, Silver and copper earlier this week also coincided with an increase of margin requirement by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which has effectively squeezed out the weaker hands in the market and taken off some of the speculative sheen.
Nevertheless, one of the positive takeaways overnight came as Finnish parliament passed the bill to expand the European Financial Stability Fund. This represents the 8th European state out of 17 to pass the bill which will allow the EFSF to purchase the distressed debt of countries who have not formally received a bailout. European parliament overnight also passed new tougher rules on European countries who fail to adhere to budget guidelines. Essentially rules have always existed under the European Union's Stability and Growth Pact, however never enforced.
Preliminary German inflation data came in higher than estimates, with consumer prices rising at an annual pace of 2.6 percent in September against a previous 2.4 percent rise. U.S. durable goods orders declined 0.1 percent in August, from a previous rise of 4.1 percent.
The ABS will today release jobs vacancies data for August, although with little in the way of scheduled major market moving themes we expect local and Asian equities to lead the way for the local unit in domestic trade. At the time of writing the Aussie dollar is buying 97.5 US cents.