Global Markets: Equities slump as growth worries resurface
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of world stock markets fell on Tuesday as concerns over global growth spurred investors to look towards safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen and government bonds, with equities extending losses on additional trade worries. Investors shunned risk assets like equities as the International Monetary Fund warned of a dimmer outlook on Monday, China confirmed its slowest growth rate in nearly 30 years, and as Brexit uncertainty continued to drag on sentiment.
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of world stock markets fell on Tuesday as concerns over global growth spurred investors to look towards safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen and government bonds, with equities extending losses on additional trade worries.
Investors shunned risk assets like equities as the International Monetary Fund warned of a dimmer outlook on Monday, China confirmed its slowest growth rate in nearly 30 years, and as Brexit uncertainty continued to drag on sentiment.
On Wall Street, stocks took another step lower in the wake of a report from the Financial Times that the U.S. had turned down an offer of preparatory trade talks from China. The benchmark S&P 500 index fell to a session low and tested a technical support level at its 50-day moving average.
"It's a risk-off trade today and a lot has to do with just concerns over global growth," said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 379.25 points, or 1.54 percent, to 24,327.1, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 42.66 points, or 1.60 percent, to 2,628.05 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 135.21 points, or 1.89 percent, to 7,022.02.
The decline put the benchmark S&P index on track for its biggest daily percentage fall since Jan 3.
European shares fell for a second straight session, with Swiss bank UBS
In its World Economic Outlook report, the IMF predicted the global economy would grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, down 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point respectively from estimates in October.
The downgrade mainly reflected weakness in Europe, with Germany hurt by new car-emission rules, Italy under market pressure due to Rome's recent budget standoff with the European Union, and Britain's planned exit from the EU hanging over the bloc as well.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 1.15 percent, after climbing 2.7 percent in the prior four sessions. The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> lost 0.36 percent.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.41 percent versus the greenback to 109.24 per dollar
The dollar index <.DXY>, tracking the greenback against six major currencies, fell 0.08 percent.
The slowdown concerns also pushed U.S. Treasury yields lower as investors shifted some cash back into the bond market. Benchmark 10-year notes
(Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Sruthi Shankar and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.