Oil prices recovered tentatively, but oversupply fears remained strong as Iran readies to regain its market share after the official lifting of the international sanctions on Monday. Iran could dump as much as one million barrels more on the already-saturated markets one year after the sanctions relief.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose 30 cents, or 1.0% to $30.82 a barrel, while Brent futures traded flat at $30.20 a barrel, after breaching the $30 level for the first time in 12 years earlier in the session.
Commodity-reliant currencies had a brutal bashing today, but showed signs of recovery, with Australian dollar pulling away from a 4-month low to trade slightly higher at $0.6957. Loonie traded at C$1.4359, not far from a 12-1/2 year nadir plumped earlier at C$1.4394, while the New Zealand dollar was still down 1% at $0.6452, but trading higher than a 14-week trough hit earlier at $0.6418.
European shares tumbled to 4-1/2 month lows on global growth worries, with energy companies leading the decliners. The pan-European FTSEurofirst index was last down 1.90% at 1,329. Germany's DAX lost 187 points, or 1.87% to move back below the 10,000 mark. France's CAC sank 1.90% to 4,308, while Britain's FTSE outperformed the broader market, falling only 0.98% to 5,902.
Gold prices drifted lower on waning demand fears from China, with the futures registering a loss of $2.80, or 0.26% to $1,084 an ounce. Silver futures plummeted 2.34% to $13.81 an ounce, after scoring their highest daily gain in three weeks yesterday.