Global stocks dip on growth fears

08:22, July 06, 2010      

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Global stocks and oil prices fell Monday on rising concerns of slowdowns in the United States and China -- the two main pillars of global growth.

Data showing the U.S. labor market shrank for the first time this year in June, slower Chinese manufacturing activity and euro zone austerity measures fueled concerns over a dim prospect of the global economic recovery from recession.

World stocks measured by MSCI All-Country World Index dipped 0.2 percent after losing nearly 4 percent last week. The index has lost 16.2 percent since April.

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said that stress test results to be published on July 23 will show that "banks in Europe are solid and healthy."

However, "there is a certain amount of skepticism that the stress tests (on banks) ... will either be fudged or the complete results won't be published. What we need is clarity," said Felicity Smith, fund manager at Bedlam Asset Management.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei average put on 0.7 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.8 percent. Brazil's Bovespa index slipped 0.2 percent.

The dollar added 0.3 percent against a basket of major currencies, recovering from a near two-month low as traders held back given the U.S. market holiday.

The euro paused after last week's boost from unwinding of short and leveraged positions. It slipped 0.3 percent to $1.2521 and dipped 0.3 percent to 109.87 yen.

The shared European currency has lost 12.5 percent against the dollar so far this year, though attention now appears to have turned to concerns of a slowdown in the United States and away from the euro zone's banking and government debt woes.

"The market last week was clearly concerned about a U.S. slowdown. It was the first week in a long time we have seen the dollar react like that," said Chris Turner, head of foreign exchange strategy at ING.

In the commodity market, crude prices fell 0.4 percent to below $72 a barrel Monday, extending last week's 8.4 percent drops.

Agencies / People's Daily Online


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