Shares slip on seesaw in oil prices, weak China data

Reuters New York | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 09, 2015


Stock markets worldwide slipped on Tuesday, weighed down by weak China trade figures, while oil came off its worst levels of the day after falling within reach of a seven-year nadir.

Oil prices earlier plumbed lows last seen during the financial crisis as an intensifying supply glut sparked fears the world will run out of storage for crude. US crude hit $36.64 a barrel and Brent hit $39.81, their lowest levels since February 2009, before rebounding.

Brent, WTI crude

Brent crude was last down 51 cents at $40.23 a barrel, while US crude was last down 6 cents at $37.59 per barrel.

US stocks pared losses after falling more than 1 per cent in morning trading, while European shares ended down nearly 1.5 per cent. Exxon Mobil fell 2.2 per cent, while miner and energy producer Freeport McMoRan was last down nearly 7 per cent.

"The fall in oil prices suggests weak demand globally and has worried investors as they put together their outlook for the coming year," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The concerns over a crude glut hit the currencies of major oil exporters, with the Canadian dollar and Norwegian crown hitting decade-plus lows against the US dollar. The dollar retreated against the euro and yen, however.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was last down 0.17 per cent at 98.488.

"It's a perfect storm for commodity currencies," said Mazen Issa, senior currency strategist at TD Securities in New York.

China's import data

Data showed China's imports fell for the 13th consecutive month, with an 8.7 per cent decline in November compared with a year earlier, intensifying concerns over the strength of the world's second-biggest economy.

MSCI's all-country world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was last down 0.8 per cent to 401.94.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 115.21 points or 0.65 per cent to 17,615.3, the S&P 500 lost 8.79 points or 0.42 per cent to 2,068.28 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.14 points or 0.14 per cent to 5,108.95.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.8 per cent to 1,437.77.

US Treasury yields

US Treasury debt yields were little changed in choppy trading. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were last down 1/32 in price to yield 2.24 per cent from a yield of 2.23 per cent late on Monday.

Gold rose on the slight weakness in the dollar and decline in European shares, though expectations that the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates next week kept gains in check. Spot gold prices rose $4.22 or 0.39 per cent to $1,074.21 an ounce.

Published on December 09, 2015
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