Shares across the globe fell overnight as renewed fears about Germany's likelihood of approving rescue plans plagued investors once again.
Germany's Federal Constitutional Court is due to rule this week on the country's participation in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a €500bn fund that offers loans to member states and may buy their bonds to lower borrowing costs.
The ESM should help keep a lid on soaring costs for struggling nations like Spain, but it needs the backing of the eurozone's leading economy to have any chance of success.
Ahead of the vote, investors were nervous, with ongoing talk Greece is struggling to approve budget cuts also doing the rounds.
In reaction, shares in the US and Asia all fell overnight. The S&P 500 closed down 0.6% at 1,429 points,while the Dow was off 0.4% at 13,254. Both have run up to multi-year highs in recent weeks, giving investors the opportunity to lock-in gains.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.7% to 8,804 points, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index also fell 0.7%, closing at 19,697.
Markets have been supported in recent weeks by talk that the US Federal Reserve is ready to launch a fresh round of quantitative easing. An announcement is expected this week from the US authorities.
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