WORLD

Stock market today: World shares fall, tracking Wall Street retreat, on worries over slowing growth

Dec 6, 2023, 10:11 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2023, 2:38 am

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares have fallen in Europe and Asia, tracking a retreat on Wall Street as investors grow wary over signs growth is slowing in Germany and other major economies.

U.S. futures edged lower and oil prices rose.

Germany has seen its exports fall as new orders have dropped. On Thursday, the government reported that industrial output fell 0.4% in October from the month before, from a minus 1.3% decline in September.

Such indicators have unnerved investors worried that high interest rates meant to quash inflation might go too far, pushing economies into recession.

Germany’s DAX edged 0.2% lower to 16,624.91 and the CAC 40 in Paris also fell 0.2%, to 7,424.76. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,495.46.

The future for the S&P 500 lost 0.1%, while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 fell 0.4% in its third straight loss though the index remains near its best level in 20 months. The Dow shed 0.2% and the Nasdaq lost 0.6%.

Expectations of slowing growth helped pull the price of a barrel of benchmark U.S. crude down 4% on Wednesday, as expectations built that there’s too much oil available relative to demand.

Early Thursday, U.S. crude was up 63 cents at $70.01 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 73 cents to $75.03 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar fell to a three-month low against the Japanese yen after a meeting between Bank of Japan Gov. Kazuo Ueda and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Reports said Ueda explained current policy ahead of a central bank meeting last week, but the meeting revived speculation of a change in the BOJ’s ultra-lax monetary stance, which has contributed to a sharp weakening of the yen against the dollar.

The dollar fell to 145.13 Japanese yen from 147.34 yen. The euro rose to $1.0780 from $1.0763.

China reported Thursday that its exports rose 0.5% in November, the first year-on-year month of increase since April, as shipments surged ahead of the holiday season.

But imports fell: China has been grappling with sluggish foreign trade this year amid slack global demand and a stalled recovery, despite the country’s reopening after its strict COVID-19 controls were lifted late last year.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.7% to 16,345.89 on renewed heavy selling of technology and property shares.

The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.1% to 2,966.21.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.8% to 32,858.31. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1% lower to 2,491.64.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 7,173.30. Bangkok’s SET lost 0.7% and the Sensex in India fell 0.3%.

Investors are betting the Federal Reserve’s next move will be to cut rather than raise interest rates. The Fed’s next meeting on interest rates is next week, and the widespread expectation is that it will leave its main interest rate alone at its highest level in more than two decades.

A report Wednesday said private employers added fewer jobs last month than economists expected. A cooling in the job market could remove upward pressure on inflation. A more comprehensive report on the job market from the U.S. government is due Friday.

“The market is currently in a consolidation phase as investors eagerly await the November U.S. employment report on Friday. This report is pivotal; if it indicates slowing inflation on wages and a weaker job market, it could fuel expectations for rate cuts in 2024,” Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a commentary.

In the bond market, the 10-year yield rose to 4.15% by early Thursday. In October it was above 5%, at its highest level since 2007.

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Stock market today: World shares fall, tracking Wall Street retreat, on worries over slowing growth