International markets were mixed overnight amid political uncertainty in Italy and calls for intervention in Syria with investors concerned that this may escalate into a war.
European stocks fell for the first time in three sessions amid political wrangling in Italy and as orders for U.S. durable goods declined more than forecast.
The Stoxx 600 Index lost 0.1% to 304.5 at the close of trading, as two shares declined for each one that advanced.
In London, the FTSE 100 added 45 points (+0.7%) to settle at 6492 while the German DAX put on 18 points (+0.2%) to sit at 8435 at the end of trading.
There was uncertainty in Italy after members of former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party threatened to topple Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government.
At the same time, the strength of the projected pickup in U.S. growth was called into question after the Commerce Department said bookings for goods meant to last at least three years decreased 7.3%.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. stocks fell, with the S&P 500 halting two sessions of gains on concerns about U.S. involvement in Syria after Secretary of State John Kerry said that the president will hold Syria’s government accountable for using chemical weapons.
The S&P 500 declined by seven points (-0.4%) to close trading at 1657, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 0.4%. The Dow Jones lost 64 points (-0.4%) to finish at 15946.
In commodity markets, gold dropped from a two-month high as a stronger greenback reduced demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment. Bullion futures for December delivery fell 0.2% to settle at $1,393.10 an on the Comex, after jumping to $1,407, the highest since June 7.
Similarly, crude fell for the first time in three sessions as orders for U.S. durable goods dropped more than forecast in July and Libya restarted exports from a previously closed port. Oil for October delivery slid 50 cents to end at $105.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
There is no major local economic news slated for release today