US Stock: Wall Street stocks extended their recent losing streak on Tuesday, stung by worries about slowing US job growth, while the euro fell on nagging concerns about Europe’s fiscal problems.
Signs of a cooling US recovery after Friday’s release of disappointing data on jobs creation in March and the festering debt crisis in the eurozone fuelled the view of tepid global growth, stoking safety bids for US and German government debt.
“The bad news on employment brought about more doubt about the global recovery and how vulnerable we are to the double-dip (recession),” said William Larkin, fixed income portfolio manager at Cabot Money Management in Salem, Massachusetts.
Oil prices briefly fell below $122 a barrel in London after China reported a decline in imports of crude oil in March, raising concerns about its oil demand.
Gold gave up earlier gains linked to speculative bets on further U. monetary easing, which would make it profitable to hold the precious metal.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P was on track to mark a fifth straight session of losses. It has lost 3% during the current downdraft, falling from a four-year high last Monday, though it remains up nearly 10% for the year to date.
“The market is trying to figure out whether or not this selloff has run its course,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
“I think the near-term focus is really a question of have we stabilised heading into the start of earnings season.”
Dow component Alcoa, the US aluminum giant considered a bellwether for the industrial sector, will unofficially kickstart the quarterly earnings season after the closing bell.
In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 82.84 points, or 0.64%, at 12 846.75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 9.42 points, or 0.68%, at 1 372.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 18.93 points, or 0.62%, at 3 028.15.
Apple bucked the trend, with its shares hitting a new high of $644, driving its market capitalisation to briefly top $600bn, before the shares eased back to trade at $638.99 near midday.
European shares fell stumbled after being closed for the extended four-day Easter weekend.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally finished down 2.3% at 1 027.95 points, the lowest close since late January. The index has fallen more than 7% since hitting an eight-month high in mid-March and is up just 2.7% so far this year.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei fell for a sixth straight session, closing down 0.1% at 9 538.02. The broad weakness in equities knocked the MSCI global stock index down 0.8% to its lowest level in a month.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.24% versus the dollar to $1.3074, close to a one-month low of $1.3033 set on Monday. Against the yen the euro was down 1.1% at 105.70 yen after an earlier low of ¥105.66.
Both Spanish and Italian yields spreads over Bunds widened in early European trade, extending moves from last week when the US jobs numbers added to concerns about the global economic outlook.
Spanish bonds have also come under pressure recently as investors worried that Spain could become the next source of contagion in the eurozone due to its weak fiscal position.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last traded up 15/32 in price with a yield of 1.995%t, the lowest level in about four weeks.
German Bund futures were up 1.18 percentage points at 140.33, their highest level since March 7.
In oil trading Brent crude was down $1.73 at $120.94 a barrel, while US oil fell $1.03 to $101.44 a barrel.
Spot gold prices erased earlier gains, falling 0.27% to $1 636.56 an ounce.
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