The euro hit a 14-month low as investors shunned the debt of weaker Eurozone countries and jumped into safe-havens. US Treasury prices and the dollar surged on fears Greece’s debt problems could hinder global growth.
On Wall Street, resource and industrial stocks, sensitive to the outlook of global economic growth, weighed on the market. Energy shares were also pressured as the price of oil fell nearly $3 to $79.97 a barrel.
Trading volume was among the highest this year, and while losses on the major indexes were only moderate, the overall market tone was decidedly bearish. On the New York Stock Exchange four stocks fell for every one that rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 58.65 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 10,868.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 7.73 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 1,165.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 21.96 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 2,402.29.
The S&P Energy Index fell 1.5 per cent and Chevron shares eased 0.7 per cent to $80.19.
About 12.33bn shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.