World stocks slip on uncertain outlook; bonds, yen gain | Reuters
By Richard Leong | NEW YORK NEW YORK World stock prices softened on Tuesday on concerns about the political outlook in Europe and U.S. economic growth, and nervous investors piled into yen and low-risk U.S.
By Richard Leong
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK World stock prices softened on Tuesday on concerns about the political outlook in Europe and U.S. economic growth, and nervous investors piled into yen and low-risk U.S. and German government bonds.Oil prices declined on worries about global oversupply despite OPEC's pact last week to extend its crude output cut until the first quarter of 2018.Gold XAU rose to a one-month high of $1,270 an ounce on safe-haven demand before it ran out of steam."There have been some softness in U.S. economic data, and there are some less market-friendly policies in the U.S. on the margin," said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist with Russell Investments in New York.The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, fell 0.45 points, or 0.1 percent, to 463.84.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 34.01 points, or 0.16 percent, to 21,046.27, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 2.89 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,412.93 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 2.76 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6,207.44.
Recent U.S. economic reports have supported a growing view that the world's biggest economy is not recovering from an anemic first quarter as vigorously as some traders had thought.Data released on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence fell in May and a gauge of core U.S. inflation retreated on a year-over-year basis.The lack of progress on tax cuts and other stimulus measures from Washington has also weighed on the outlook for company profits and broader economic activity, analysts said.
However, most Federal Reserve policymakers have not backed away from their expectations of two more rate increases by the end of 2017 as they see the U.S. economy near full employment and are confident inflation would reach its 2-percent goal.In Europe, elections in Italy may now come as early as September, after the 5-Star Movement became the fourth big party to back a switch to a proportional electoral system.Greece's debt problems also continued to simmer after it failed to reach a deal on its next installment of its bailout program earlier this month.
Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 dropped 0.20 percent at 1,533.88.With jitters about the United States and Europe, the yen strengthened against the dollar and euro. It was up 0.2 percent at 111.00 yen per dollar JPY=, and up 0.1 percent at 124.09 yen per euro EURJPY=.Safety bids lowered 10-year U.S. Treasury yield US10YT=RR to 2.229 percent and pinned 10-year German yield DE10YT=RR at 0.302 percent.In commodities, Brent crude LCOc1 was last down $0.76, or 1.45 percent, at $51.53 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 was last down $0.51, or 1.02 percent, at $49.29 per barrel.Spot gold prices XAU= were last down $3.84 or 0.30 percent, to $1,262.76 an ounce. (Reporting by Marc Jones, Patrick Graham in London and Nithin Thomas Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Lough and Nick Zieminski)
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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.