World Economy

Global Stocks, Copper Fall

Global Stocks, Copper FallGlobal Stocks, Copper Fall

Global equity markets dropped and copper fell to a six-year low as weaker-than-expected data from China and the eurozone exacerbated concerns over global economic growth. Oil prices also fell, extending recent declines.

Energy and materials shares weighed on the S&P 500, which dropped about 1% and was at its lowest level in two weeks. Biotech shares also were a drag following a disappointing forecast from Biogen. The S&P 500 was on track for its worst weekly decline since March, Reuters reported.

Copper slumped to its lowest level in six years, with three-month copper on the LME hitting $5,191.50 a ton, its cheapest since July 2009, before paring losses.

A survey showed Chinese manufacturing contracted by the most in 15 months in July as orders shrank. Worries over demand increased in the world’s biggest metals consumer as stockpiles mounted.

The flash Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index showed activity contracted for a fifth straight month, and faster than economists polled by Reuters had estimated.

Eurozone business activity also started the second half of the year on less secure footing than expected, hit by Greece’s near-bankruptcy. Markit’s flash eurozone PMI fell to 53.7 in July from June’s four-year high of 54.2. A Reuters poll had predicted a more modest dip to 54.0.

MSCI’s all-country equities world index was down 1%, while European shares closed down 0.9%. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 163.92 points, or 0.92%, to 17,568, the S&P500 lost 23.42 points, or 1.11%, to 2,078.73 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.87 points, or 1.12%, to 5,088.54. shares jumped as much as 20.4% to a record high of $580.57, a day after the online retailer posted an unexpected quarterly profit.

Among other gainers, British telecom firm Vodafone rose after results showed improvements across major markets in Germany and Britain.

In the energy market, US crude for September delivery fell 31 cents to settle at $48.14. A rise in the number of US oil drilling rigs added pressure.

US Treasury debt prices drifted higher as investors sought safety in government bonds after a softer-than-expected US housing report. US 30-year bonds were up 6/32 in price to yield 2.97%.


The US dollar edged up against most other major currencies on the data that pointed to sluggish overseas economic growth, while the Australian dollar sagged to a six-year low. In late US trading, the dollar index was up 0.2% at 97.274, trimming its weekly decline to 0.6%.

The Aussie dollar, often used as a liquid proxy for China trades, fell more than 1% to $0.7280, a six-year low. The recent decline in a wide range of commodities, including oil, has weighed on currencies like the Canadian and Australian dollars.

Gold turned higher after sliding more than 1% to its lowest since early 2010. Spot gold hit its lowest since February 2010 at $1,077.00 an ounce but was last up 0.5% at $1,096.29.