Weakness in global markets points to headwinds for Australian stocks
After being down more than 140 points early in the session, the Dow recovered to close 23 points lower at 20,919 points.
A number of the large IT companies finished in negative territory including Microsoft Corp (-1.2%) Intel Corp. (-0.9%) and IBM (-0.4%). Weakness amongst retail stocks also drove the index lower.
Health and biotech stocks placed a drag on the NASDAQ with it falling 0.2% to 6115 points.
Negative sentiment also prevailed in the UK and Europe. While the FTSE 100 finished broadly in line with the previous day’s close at 7386 points, it spent a good part of the session in negative territory.
The heat has come out of mainland European markets, which was to be expected given the DAX has been notching up record highs over the last two weeks and the Paris CAC 40 ran hard leading up to the election.
That DAX shed 0.4% to close at 12,711 points, while the Paris CAC 40 came off 0.3%, closing at 5383 points.
More positive sentiment prevailed in the commodities space with oil rallying another 1% to close at US$47.82 per barrel.
Gold increased 0.5%, closing at US$1225 per ounce.
Iron ore was relatively flat, closing just above US$60 per tonne.
Base metals were mixed, but the standout performer was nickel as it rallied more than 2% to close at US$4.21 per pound, its highest close since the start of May.
Copper gained nearly 1% to close at US$2.50 per pound.
Both zinc and lead fell marginally to the tune of about 0.5%, closing at US$1.17 per pound and US$0.99 per pound respectively.
The Australian dollar weakened further, closing at US$0.737.
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