Tuesday, 12 January, 2016

United States stocks slide again as China woes lead to global selling

China stocks dive 7% early, trade halted for the day
David Chambers | 08 January, 2016, 16:22

The euro was down 0.4 percent at $1.0873 while the dollar rose 0.5 percent to 118.32 yen.

Global stocks and crude oil plunged - in Europe, Germany's DAX index tumbled 3.3%, France's CAC 40 plunged 2.7% and Britain's FTSE 100 fell 2.7%.

While all 10 industrial sectors of the S&P; 500 traded lower, some retail stocks performed well. The price of oil sank to its lowest level in 12 years today. The benchmark US contract rebounded moderately in Asian daytime hours, rising 42 cents to $33.69 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

China's stock markets stopped trading after only 30 minutes, ending the shortest trading day in their history after the newly installed mechanism to limit volatility was triggered for the second time this week.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude slumped a further 3.1% in the morning's trading to $33.26, a new 11-year low.

Previously the scale of the yuan's devaluation - a measure which helps its manufacturers as they face a slowdown - had compounded fears about how badly growth in the world's second biggest economy was stuttering.

Shares of Apple were down 2.9 percent to $97.80, following reports of slowing shipments of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The S&P; (INDEXSP:.INX) lost 26 points, or 1.3 percent.

"Markets like certainty; however, the intervention the Chinese keep doing to stop their markets from falling is not helpful", said Kim Forrest, equity research analyst for Fort Pitt Capital Group.

That would in turn hurt emerging-market economies like Chile and Brazil that depend on China to buy the copper and oil that they export. Macy's, which lost about half its value since July, rose 85 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $37 after the company said it will close 40 stores and eliminate more jobs. Earlier this week, economic data caused investors to worry about China's manufacturing and service industries.

This halt in trading followed yet another weaker fix for China's yuan - which is pegged against the dollar - which has continued to weaken as the United States dollar has rallied and concerns about China's economy abound.

Brad McMillan, chief investment officer of Commonwealth Financial Network, said US markets will be jumpy for a while, thanks in part to rising interest rates.

In London, FTSE100 is down 164 points - to fall below 6,000 as traders are reeling from another the dismal market performance in China overnight and a further fall in the price of crude.

Elsewhere, Poundland slumped almost 10 percent after the British discount retailer said there were fewer shoppers over Christmas, meaning profits would come in towards the lower end of forecasts.

The price of gold and silver both rose more than 1 percent, with gold at $1,105.60 an ounce and silver at $14.20 an ounce. Urban Outfitters climbed 62 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $22.54.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index each lost more than two percent Thursday.

Meanwhile, the European Commission's economic sentiment indicator for the eurozone unexpectedly rose to 106.8 in December from 106.1 in November.