It was a lacklustre start to the trading week for global markets overnight, with most major indices logging moves of less than one tenth of a percent.
It was a choppy session on Wall Street, as investors contended with a mixed set of economic numbers. Industrial production grew more than expected in September, but that was offset by a surprise slide in pending home sales during that month.
There is more important economic data to come this week, with the Fed due to meet on Wednesday night amid expectations it will hold off on tapering stimulus until 2014.
Later in the week will see the release of the October US jobs figures, which will offer clues on just how badly the recent budget fight has damaged business hiring intentions.
The Dow slipped one point to 15569, the Nasdaq shed three points (-0.1%) to 3940 and the S&P500 inched up two points (+0.1%) to 1762.
In commodity markets, oil extended its recent gains into a third session after a news report said Libya’s oil exports have slumped to just 20% of the country’s capacity.
Front month oil futures advanced 0.9% to US$98.68 a barrel.
The greenback strengthened against its major counterparts, but its gains were limited as traders brace for the Fed’s monetary policy statement later this week.
In company news, ANZ has revealed an 11% lift in FY13 cash profit, which has come in above analyst expectations. There is no major economic data due for release today.