Global Markets: Stocks waver, dollar recovers on renewed growth worries
By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar recovered from early weakness but a gauge of world equity performance edged lower on Thursday as concerns about global growth offset investor optimism over a surge in U.S.
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar recovered from early weakness but a gauge of world equity performance edged lower on Thursday as concerns about global growth offset investor optimism over a surge in U.S. retail sales last month and strong Walmart earnings.
Gold prices, which have climbed almost 20% since late May on uncertainty driven by the U.S.-Sino trade spat and global growth concerns, rose after China threatened to retaliate against the latest U.S. tariffs, renewing investor unease about the row.
China called on the United States to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal as U.S. President Donald Trump said any pact would have to be on America's terms.
The yield on 30-year U.S. government debt fell to a record low below 2% and benchmark 10-year Treasury notes dropped to a three-year trough, beaten down by the U.S.-Chinese trade tensions and economic growth concerns.
Euro zone government bond yields went further into negative territory, reflecting fear of an impending global recession after the U.S. yield curve remained inverted for a second day. The inversion is a classic sign of recession.
But Walmart Inc
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales would rise 0.3% in July. Walmart shares closed up 6.1% at $112.69.
Investors are caught between slowing global growth and its impact on equity markets, with few alternatives to invest in when the dividends of many stocks are higher than the interest on government debt, said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.
"When you get a story like Walmart, you see the glass is half full because maybe it's not as bad as it seems. There are still companies succeeding in this environment, and that's going to cause the market to go back and forth," Meckler said.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.14%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> lost 0.18%.
Stocks on Wall Street closed mixed after a day of choppy trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 99.97 points, or 0.39%, to 25,579.39. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 7 points, or 0.25%, to 2,847.6 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 7.32 points, or 0.09%, to 7,766.62.
The dollar recovered from early weakness against the safe-haven yen on the better-than-expected U.S. retail sales. The yen tends to benefit from geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation.
The Japanese yen
Oil prices fell more than 1%, extending the previous session's 3% drop, pressured by mounting recession concerns and a surprise boost in U.S. crude inventories.
International benchmark Brent crude
U.S. gold futures
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Cynthia Osterman and Lisa Shumamker)
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
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