World Economy

Stocks Fall Keep Investors on Edge

Stocks Fall Keep Investors on EdgeStocks Fall Keep Investors on Edge

Stock markets sank Wednesday after the World Bank downgraded its global growth forecast and the slump in oil and metals prices kept investors on edge.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 1 percent to 4,249.80 and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.7 percent to 9,872.88. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1.2 percent to 6,465.26.

Dow futures were down 0.4 percent at 17,459 and S&P 500 futures dropped 0.5 percent to 2,006.10, auguring a rocky start for Wall Street following erratic trading the day before, AP reported.

Energy: Oil fell again after the UAE energy minister said OPEC has no plans to curb production to shore up prices that have slumped almost 60 percent since June. US crude was down 73 cents to $45.16 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 18 cents to close at $45.89 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 82 cents to $47.00 in London. Some of the fall in crude reflects oversupply but analysts say a weak global economy is also a factor.

Copper: The price of copper, a metal used in many industries that is also a barometer of global economic demand, plunged for a second day, adding to jitters from the slump in oil prices.

Copper on CME Group’s COMEX market was down 6.4 percent at $247.60 a pound. Copper on the LME’s cash market fell 3.5 percent a ton on Wednesday.

“Weaker leads from Wall Street, continued capitulation of oil and iron ore prices, along with a dramatic plunge in copper overnight, spells risk-off,” said CMC Markets sales trader Will Leys in a commentary.

“In short, this is the theme being played out today. Copper is often viewed as a bellwether for economic growth, so its decline has added to the existing unease.”

Asia: Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1.7 percent to 16,795.96 and South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2 percent lower to 1,913.66. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.4 percent to 24,112.60 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1 percent to 5,353.60. The Shanghai Composite index surrendered 0.4 percent to 3,222.44.

Currencies: The dollar fell to 116.80 yen from its previous close of 117.61 yen. The euro rose to $1.1796 from $1.1781.

Europe: European stocks fell from a five-week high as energy and mining shares followed commodity prices lower on global-growth concern. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1 percent to 341.5 at 12:33 p.m. in London.