Last night’s offshore session was marked by wild swings on both sides of the Atlantic, with European indices recovering from an early plunge only to suffer another sharp fall towards the end of trading.
It was a different story in the US, where a late surge on Wall Street was sparked by comments from a Fed President, who said the central bank is committed to its quantitative easing program.
The comments soothed investor nerves, which had been frayed earlier by data showing the US manufacturing sector contracting last month for the first time since December.
European stocks declined for a second session, extending a one-month low. The Stoxx 600 Index dropped 0.8% to 298.6 at the close of trading, the lowest level since May 2.
In London, the FTSE 100 shed 58 points (-0.9%) to settle at 6525 while the German DAX dropped 63 points (-0.8%) to close at 8286.
U.S. stocks rose, with the S& 500 Index erasing earlier losses, after the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president said that central bank officials are committed to maintaining stimulus measures.
The S&P 500 rose by 10 points (+0.6%) to close at 1640 while the Dow added 139 points (+0.9%) to finish trading at 15254.
A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed that manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in May at the fastest pace in four years, fuelling concern that U.S economic growth could slow.
Crude oil rose as the U.S. dollar weakened the most since January against a basket of major currencies in response to the report on shrinking manufacturing.
Crude oil for July delivery gained $1.50 to settle at $93.5 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold rallied after the U.S. manufacturing report boosted speculation that the Federal Reserve will maintain the pace of its stimulus to sustain the recovery.
Gold futures for August delivery gained 1.4% to settle at $1411.9 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
The yen strengthened beyond 100 versus the greenback for the first time in almost a month as U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in May, dimming speculation that the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release their quarterly Current Account report at 11:30 am today. At 2:30 pm, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release both the Cash Rate and RBA Rate Statement.