There has been another rout for technology and retail stocks on Wall Street, capping the worst three-day sell off for the benchmark US share index in two months.
The benchmark S&P 500 shed 1.1 per cent for its worst three-day loss in two months to close at 1,845, the tech-focussed Nasdaq dropped another 1.2 per cent to close at 4,080, and the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1 per cent to close at 16,246.
Investors dumped internet stocks like technology giant Apple and online retailer Amazon, which both lost 1.6 per cent.
Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer says technology and small company shares were the notable losers.
“These sectors have been described as overvalued and their indices have been grinding lower since early March, in contrast to large company indices the S&P500 and Dow Jones Industrial, which both peaked only last Friday,” Mr Speizer said.
Across the Atlantic, the US dollar took a hit after key officials of the European Central Bank (ECB) hosed down expectations of more stimulus for the eurozone, boosting the euro.
European stock markets also went into retreat, with the FTSE 100 in London recording its largest fall in a month.
It closed down 1.1 per cent at 6,623 as investors sold shares in home building companies.
Australian stocks are also set to fall at the open reflecting the losses on overseas markets; the ASX SPI 200 futures contract is down 18 points at 5,390.
Some key commodities eased overnight, with the spot price of gold easing to $US1,296 an ounce, while West Texas crude oil also slipped to $US100.41 a barrel and, in Singapore, Tapis crude was fetching just under $US109.78 a barrel.
The Australian dollar has been falling in early currency trading, but is still holding near four-month highs and at 7:50am (AEST) was buying 92.7 US cents, 67.4 euro cents, 95.5 Japanese yen, 55.8 British pence and just under $NZ1.08.
The key focus for the Australian market today will be the NAB monthly business survey, which will shed some light on the mood of Australia’s business owners.