The Australian share market is expected to open lower after US stocks fell on worries about political instability in Italy.
At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the Australian share price futures index was down 45 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 6,968 points.
The Australian share market on Tuesday closed modestly higher as gains by the big banks, healthcare companies and miners offset weaknesses in other sectors.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 9.6 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 6,013.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 8.1 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 6,121.7 points.
In economics news on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases building approvals figures for April.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than one per cent on Tuesday as political turmoil in Italy sparked concerns about the stability of the euro zone.
Italy has been unable to assemble a coalition government since inconclusive elections in March, which saw the rise of anti-establishment parties that support leaving the euro. The most recent nominee for prime minister failed to secure support from the country’s
major political parties.
The political crisis in Rome, and the threat to the euro project it represents, triggered a rush to traditional safe havens like US debt, pulling down US 10-year bond yields and in turn spurring losses for US banks.
The market’s main measure of short-term volatility, the CBOE Volatility index, spiked to its highest level since April 25.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,298.41 per fine ounce, from $US1,296.72 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
IRON ORE: $64.54 +0.66(June contract)
U.S. and global benchmark oil prices diverged, with concerns about a potential rise in oil supply pulling West Texas Intermediate crude down for a fifth straight session.
The dollar flexed its muscle against the euro, as political turmoil in Italy and Spain sent the shared currency to a six-month low against the U.S. unit.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, which gauges the currency against a half-dozen major rivals, climbed 0.7% to 94.827, and the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the buck’s performance against 16 rivals, picked up 0.2% to 87.53.
The Australian dollar is lower after US stocks tumbled as political stability in Italy sparked caution among investors.
At 0635 AEST on Wednesday, the local currency was worth 75.06 US cents, down from 75.35 US cents on Tuesday.
British stocks fell on Tuesday, joining a Europe-wide sell-off triggered by worries over a political crisis in Italy, while a profit warning at Dixons Carphone wiped one fifth off the retailer’s market value.
The UK’s top share FTSE 100 index ended the session with a 1.3 per cent loss, hitting its lowest level in three weeks. The blue chip benchmark shrugged off a fall in the pound as it resumed trading after a long holiday weekend. The FTSE 250 midcap index fell 1.7 per cent.
The DAX 30 index in German was down 1.53 per cent, and France’s CAC 40 index fell 1.29 per cent.
Asian shares fell on Tuesday and the euro struggled near six-and-a-half-month lows as early elections loomed in Italy, although a revival in diplomatic talks with North Korea and a retreat in oil prices supported sentiment.
All that hit risk appetite, sending MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.4 per cent after three consecutive sessions of gains.
E-Mini futures for the S&P500 also gave up early gains.
Japan’s Nikkei skidded 0.55 per cent. Chinese shares were in the red, too, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.47 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index off one per cent.
On Tuesday, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.11 per cent, to 8,635.96.