Investor risk sentiment took a heavy blow over night after a barrage of negative headlines out of Europe.
European and US equities ended the session deep in the red after Cyprus called for bailout, Greece's new finance minister quit, and Moody's signalled it was going to downgrade Spanish banks by as much as four notches.
Adding salt to the wound, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her resistance to the issue of a euro zone bonds.
The run of bad news appears to have confirmed fears that the upcoming European Leaders' Summit at the end of the week will fail to deliver any real policy traction on the region's fiscal crisis.
Those jitters were in evidence on international debt markets where yields on Spanish and Italian debt spiking, though both measures remained shy of recent highs.
Given the leads, it's hard to see the New Zealand share market gaining ground today, with little in the way of data on either side of the Tasman to spur risk appetites.
Investors will likely be watching the Asian market open with interest to see how emerging markets react to the trend.
Stocks to watch:
TrustPower, the electricity company controlled by Infratil, could eventually provide about a third of the needs of Canterbury irrigation heavyweight Central Plains Water. The firm has been buoyed by a new hearing for an up-to-$400- million plan to develop irrigation canals and power stations alongside the Rakaia River. TPW shares closed at $7.55 yesterday.
Allied Farmers says it will probably have to write down the carrying value of an ex-Hanover property loan by $1.8 million. The loan was secured over a property that's been in receivership for some time, and a draft estimate suggests the value may have dropped ''significantly lower than anticipated''. ALF shares closed at 2.8c yesterday.
Australia and New Zealand
NZX 50: +0.06 per cent to 3401.12
S&P/ASX 200: -0.51 per cent to 4027.8
Dow: -1.09 per cent to 12,502.70
S&P 500: -1.6 per cent to 1313.72
Nasdaq: -1.95 per cent to 2836.16
FTSE 100: -1.14 per cent to 5450.65
Dax: -2.09 per cent to 6132.39
Stoxx 600: -1.52 per cent to 242.82
Nikkei: -0.72 per cent to 8734.62
Hang Seng: -0.51 per cent to 18,897.40
The New Zealand dollar recently traded at US78.65 cents, down from US78.79c at 5pm yesterday.
Gold: US$1583.99 an ounce, from US$1571.19 yesterday
ICE Brent Crude: US$91.36 a barrel, from US$90.98 yesterday
Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB: +0.3 per cent to 267.97
- © Fairfax NZ News