Wall Street edged lower overnight, suggesting another decline for the ASX today.
Wage figures are due to be released later this morning which may reveal if interest rates will rise again. The Reserve Bank could lift the cash rate as soon as next month if today’s wage figures exceed expectations.
The RBA warned the nation’s weak productivity performance could heighten the possibility of more hikes.
The S&P and NASDAQ both shed around 0.5 per cent. The New York Stock Exchange slid more than one per cent.
Overnight, softer than forecast retail sales data showed US consumer spending is weakening.
Home Depot cut its sales forecast, raising questions over consumer demand. Target and Walmart also retreated around two per cent ahead of trading updates expected later this week.
Meanwhile, Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is selling debt in eight parts to help fund its purchase of cancer-drug maker, Seagen. The acquisition comes with a US$43 billion price tag.
If all goes ahead, the $31 billion bond offering is likely to be the largest debt financing for an acquisition this year – and the fourth-largest US bond sale on record. The healthcare stock dropped half a per cent, closing at US$37.
In currencies, the Aussie dollar lost some of its lustre. One Australian dollar is buying 67 US cents and 61 Euro cents. The price of Bitcoin fell 1.5 per cent.
Oil prices dipped after Tuesday’s weaker-than-expected economic data in China was released. Crude oil was down half a per cent to around $70 US dollars a barrel.
The price of gold dropped below $2000 US dollars an ounce as markets awaited news on U.S. debt ceiling negotiations.