March 19, 2018

European markets down as Tuesday trading closes

09 February 2018, 04:29 | Lorenzo Hawkins

Japan's Nikkei stock index falls more than 1500 points — worst point drop since 1990


The Dow Jones industrial average rose 317 points, or 1.3 percent, to 25,230.

The benchmark Nikkei stock average, which on Tuesday fell almost 5 percent in its worst loss since the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as USA president, rose 0.16 percent or 35.13 points to close at 21,645.37. Exxon Mobil gave back 1.8 percent and Devon Energy fell 4.2 percent. Toyota Motor Corp shed 3.7 percent, Honda Motor Co fell 4.4 percent, Sony Corp slipped 4.2 percent and Nintendo Co tumbled 5.2 percent.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 reacted after the huge USA sell-off on Monday, which saw the Dow Jones industrial average breaking below the 25,000 level and paring the gains made by the index this year.

The Dow jumped 567.02 points or 2.3 percent to 24,912.77, the Nasdaq surged up 148.36 points or 2.1 percent to 7,115.88 and the S&P 500 climbed 46.20 points or 1.7 percent to 2,695.14.

Though many stock indexes are close to where they started the year, the losses mark a reversal of fortune following a sustained period of gains, a pullback that some market pros have been predicting for some time.

"This increased volatility had been one that the market was anticipating at the start of the year, but certainly took its time to arrive and may retain a spot in the market after this week's tumultuous turn".

There are signs of a reprieve in the global market sell-off. Technology and industrial companies and retailers moved higher, a possible sign of confidence the USA economy will keep growing.

On Monday, the Dow finished down 4.6 percent, the biggest decline in percentage terms since August 2011, when investors were fretting over Europe's debt crisis and the debt ceiling impasse in Washington that prompted a USA credit rating downgrade.

Monday's drop was bad, but there were worse days during the financial crisis, including a 777-point plunge in the Dow in September 2008 that was equivalent to 7 percent - far bigger than Monday's decline.

The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials indices slumped more than 4 percent overnight, as the Dow notched its biggest ever intraday drop, down almost 1,600-points.

On Wednesday, benchmark 10-year notes last fell 18/32 in price to yield 2.834 percent, from 2.766 percent late on Tuesday. The S&P 500, for example, is one of the major fallers, was down 7.8 percent since its latest record high on January 26 as of Monday's close. But the Dow is up 24 percent in the past 12 months the S&P 500 has gained 18 percent.

Investors took their cue from a late rebound on Wall Street, though many had an anxious eye on E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 which were off 0.3 per cent in Asian trading. But a brighter session on Wall Street overnight buoyed investor sentiment. Corrections are seen as entirely normal and even helpful in curbing excessive gains during bull markets. Analysts said the sell-off looked to have run its course for the time being, although worries about rising USA interest rates remain a looming challenge.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank, said it would leave cash rates (the interest rate that banks pay to borrow) unchanged at 1.5 percent, citing household consumption as a "continuous source of uncertainty". Brent crude, the worldwide standard for oil prices, dropped 15 cents to $65.36 per barrel in London.

The dollar held gains made late in NY against the yen, while the euro and pound began making inroads against the greenback.

The euro was trading at $1.2384.

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