Emerging markets lead global stocks lower, commodities sink - Metro US

Emerging markets lead global stocks lower, commodities sink

By Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Equities around the world took a dive led by emerging market stocks on Wednesday and commodities tumbled as investors looked for safety due to worries about China and Turkey.

Oil and metal futures fell sharply and the dollar faded after hitting a 13-month high earlier in the day.

While fears of a crisis in Turkey still loomed, China was in sharp focus as the yuan sagged nearly 0.8 percent to 6.9514 per dollar, hitting its weakest level since January 2017.

On top of China’s disappointing economic data earlier in the week, technology firm Tencent Holdings Ltd <0700.HK> reported its first quarterly profit fall in nearly 13 years on weak gaming revenue.

MSCI’s emerging equities index <.MSCIEF> fell 1.8 percent after having dropped more than 20 percent from its January intraday high earlier in the day. Latin American currencies also slid.

“A combination of fears of contagion from Turkey and a possibility of a China slowdown has upset markets worldwide. It’s more of a risk off trade,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

Turkey’s lira gained for a second day against the dollar, rising 7 percent on Wednesday after authorities took action against investors aiming to short the currency.

The euro regained ground after news Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkey, reducing anxiety about European banks’ exposure to Turkey.

The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.03 percent, with the euro up 0.04 percent to $1.1346.

The S&P 1500 Metals & Mining index <.SPCOMMTM> fell 4.8 percent, in its biggest one-day percentage decline since March.

Spot gold dropped 1.6 percent to $1,174.58 an ounce.

Copper lost 4.02 percent to $5,801.00 a ton and zinc fell 6.3 percent and touched its lowest level since October 2016.

“Copper and other commodities at first reflected the downturn in China but now have been exacerbated by expectations of further economic weakness,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 137.51 points, or 0.54 percent, to 25,162.41, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 21.59 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,818.37 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 96.78 points, or 1.23 percent, to 7,774.12.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 1.41 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 1.10 percent.

The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX>, Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge,” added 1.33 points to 14.64 after jumping to a more than six-week high of 16.86 earlier in the session.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last rose 9/32 in price to yield 2.8641 percent, from 2.895 percent late on Tuesday.

(Graphic: Dollar, U.S. Treasuries benefit from safe haven flows: https://reut.rs/2P84bbH)

(Graphic: Turkey’s ripple effect on global assets, so far: https://reut.rs/2KTqwGI)

The backdrop to all this is the escalation in global trade tensions, with Beijing lodging a complaint to the World Trade Organization to determine the legality of U.S. tariff and subsidy policies.

Turkey has also raised tariffs on some U.S. products “in response to the U.S. administration’s deliberate attacks on our economy”, Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

U.S. crude oil fell 3.18 percent to $64.91 per barrel and Brent was last at $70.75, down 2.36 percent on the day after data showed a surprise weekly increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, compounding worries about a weaker global economic growth outlook.

(Additional reporting by April Joyner, Richard Leong, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Rodrigo Campos in New York, Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo and Marc Jones in London; Editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker)

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