World Economy

Dow Drops Triple Digits

Dow Drops Triple DigitsDow Drops Triple Digits

Stocks dropped in early trading Friday as oil prices took another tumble and fell below $46 a barrel after data showed stock levels continue to rise.

The major indexes were on track to post a third straight week of losses as the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 120 points, or 0.7%, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.5%, Yahoo reported.

Both indexes have erased the year’s gains and are negative for 2015. The Nasdaq composite index was down 0.2%.

After stabilizing in recent days, the price of oil renewed its downward drift Friday as US benchmark crude dropped 2.6% to $465.83 a barrel. The International Energy Agency warned Friday that the stabilization in the oil price is precarious. “The rebalancing triggered by the price collapse has yet to run its course,” the agency said in a monthly report.

  In Asia

Japanese stocks tracked a positive lead from Wall Street to hit a fresh multi-year high, breaching the 19,000 level, as major indices in the region largely rose on Friday.

A positive showing by industrial robot maker Fanuc helped Japan’s Nikkei 225 index to close above the 19,000 mark, hitting its highest level since June 2000. The index heavyweight soared 13.2 percent, on news that the company plans to step up talks with investors. Fast Retailing and Softbank rose 1.7 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

The weakening yen also buoyed most of the exporter stocks; Nissan Motor and Nintendo elevated 2.1 and 1.7 percent each, while Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric notched up 0.6 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

“The Nikkei 225 can go up further in 2015, probably closer to the 20,000 level, and what’s going to drive that that will be the low yen,” Stephen Sheung, head of investment strategy at SHK Private, told CNBC Asia’s “Squawk Box”.

China’s Shanghai Composite finished at a 6-week high on the back of news that the world’s second-biggest economy could allow local authorities to convert some debt into municipal or provincial bonds.

Among the most active stocks, Industrial Bank and China Everbright Bank elevated 3.3 and 0.2 percent each, while major lenders such as Bank of China surrendered early gains to close 0.5 percent lower. Shenzhen-listed Ping An Bank rose 2.7 percent after delivering a 30 percent annual bump up in 2014’s profit.

Carmaker SAIC Motor inched up 0.1 percent after saying on Thursday it would join forces with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to invest $160 million to develop Internet-connected cars.