Global stocks showed mixed movement overnight as data from Japan dampened investor confidence and continued speculation on signs of the Fed easing its stimulus.
European stocks closed little changed at a 10-week high as a rally in mining companies offset slower-than-forecast economic growth in Japan. The Stoxx 600 Index increased less than 0.1% to 306.1 at the close of trading, having earlier risen as much as 0.2% then declined by as much as 0.6%.
In London, the FTSE 100 dropped nine points (-0.1%) to settle at 6574 while the German DAX put on 21 points (+0.3%) to close trading at 8359.
U.S. stocks fell, giving the S&P 500 its fifth drop in six sessions. The S&P 500 shed two points (-0.1%) to sit at 1689, now 1.2% off its record high. The blue-chip Dow Jones declined by six points to finish trading at 15420.
In the commodity markets, gold futures rose capping the longest rally in four weeks, as demand surged in China, the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal last year. Silver jumped to a seven-week high.
Bullion futures for December delivery rose 1.7% to settle at $1,334.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Crude oil rose with as North Sea production was curtailed and Libya shut its biggest oil export terminal. Oil for September delivery gained 14 cents to settle at $106.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In local news, the National Australia Bank will release its monthly NAB Business Confidence due to be report today at 11:30 am.