World stocks fall for four con­sec­u­tive days

The Star Early Edition - - PRICES -

WORLD stocks were down for the fourth day in a row yes­ter­day, but strong eco­nomic growth in Germany boosted the euro to an al­most three-week high.

Wall Street was lower on weak oil prices, un­cer­tainty about US tax pol­icy and the econ­omy’s abil­ity to deal with more in­ter­est rate hikes. Euro­pean stocks fell to a two-month low.

US Trea­sury two-year note yields climbed to a nine-year peak while long-dated debt yields fell, flat­ten­ing the yield curve flat­tened for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day, while in­vestors braced for a Fed­eral Re­serve De­cem­ber rate hike.

In Germany, a 0.8 per­cent third-quar­ter growth read­ing beat fore­casts and showed the econ­omy ex­pand­ing at an­nu­alised rates of more than 3 per­cent.

“It’s been a euro trade to­day, and it’s stronger against just about ev­ery­thing,” Brad Bech­tel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor FX at Jef­feries in New York, said. “The num­bers out of Germany were pretty good last night.”

On Wall Street the de­fen­sive util­i­ties sec­tor had the strong­est show­ing while the en­ergy sec­tor was among the weak­est.

“You’re at the end of the earn­ings sea­son, eco­nomic data is all dis­torted be­cause of the hur­ri­canes, I don’t think there is go­ing to be any clear pic­ture un­til we get a firm yes or no for the tax bill,” Scott Brown, chief econ­o­mist at Ray­mond James, Florida.

In late af­ter­noon trade, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age was down 55.29 points, or 0.24 per­cent, to 23 384.41 points, the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 lost 7.42 points, or 0.29 per­cent, to 2 577.42 points and the Nas­daq Com­pos­ite had dropped 19.04 points, or 0.28 per­cent, to 6 738.56 points.

The pan-Euro­pean FTS-Eurofirst 300 in­dex lost 0.57 per­cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.18 per­cent.

Mone­tary pol­icy was also on traders’ minds with the heads of the US, Euro­pean, Bri­tish and Ja­panese cen­tral banks at­tend­ing a Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank con­fer­ence in Frank­furt.

The mood in Asia was gloomy af­ter China’s re­tail sales in in­dus­trial out­put data missed mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions. MSCI’s broad­est in­dex of Asia-Pa­cific shares out­side Ja­pan dipped 0.4 per­cent in its third con­sec­u­tive day of losses. Ja­pan’s Nikkei was un­changed af­ter four ses­sions of losses.

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