The equities rally that pushed stocks to records around the globe eased on Wednesday as some investors cautioned that gains had gone too far. The dollar snapped a two-day advance as Treasury yields declined.
The Stoxx Europe 600 gauge headed for the first drop in six days after U.S. benchmarks and the MSCI All-Country World Index closed at all-time highs a day earlier. Miners led the decline as prices of most industrial metals retreated, dragging the Bloomberg Commodity Index lower for a second day. West Texas Intermediate crude held above $48 a barrel as OPEC and its allies discuss an extension of output curbs. The pound extended its advance triggered by a bigger-than-forecast jump in inflation before Thursday’s central bank policy meeting.
Record stock prices are provoking concern in some corners of the market. The number of investors seeking protection from a possible plunge has surged and Leon Cooperman, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Omega Advisors, says a correction could start “very soon.”
In terms of data, U.S. wholesale and consumer-price numbers today and tomorrow could impact the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest-rate hike.
Meanwhile geopolitical concerns are lingering, after North Korea said it will accelerate its plans to acquire a nuclear weapon that can strike the U.S. homeland in its first response to fresh United Nations sanctions. Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned the U.S. may impose additional sanctions on China — potentially cutting off access to the U.S. financial system — if it doesn’t follow through on the new UN restrictions.
Terminal subscribers can read more in our Markets Live blog.
Among the key events this week for markets:
- U.S. producer price data is due today, followed by consumer prices on Thursday.
- The U.K. reports wage data Wednesday. The Bank of England will almost certainly leave policy unchanged Thursday.
- Also scheduled this week is data on China’s August industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment.
- Australia releases jobs numbers on Thursday.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- The Topix index rose 0.6 percent at the close in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed and the Kospi index in Seoul finished the session 0.2 percent lower.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index fluctuated.
- Among Apple suppliers, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Pegatron Corp. fell, weighing on the Taiex index, which was down 0.7 percent. AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong also declined. Apple slid along with some of its biggest suppliers on Tuesday.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent.
- The Japanese yen advanced 0.2 percent to 110.00 per dollar.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.2 percent as of 8:08 a.m. London time, the first retreat in more than a week on a closing basis.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index declined 0.1 percent.
- The MSCI All-Country World Index increased less than 0.05 percent, hitting the highest on record with its sixth consecutive advance.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.1 percent, the first retreat in a week.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.5 percent, the biggest fall in a week.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.2 percent.
- The euro increased 0.1 percent to $1.1978.
- The British pound climbed 0.3 percent to $1.3326, the strongest in a year.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped one basis point to 2.16 percent.
- Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.39 percent.
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 1.087 percent, the highest in five weeks.
- Gold fell less than 0.05 percent to $1,331.43 an ounce.
- West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.1 percent to $48.16 a barrel.
- Copper declined 0.7 percent to $3.02 a pound, the lowest in almost three weeks.
- The Bloomberg Commodity Index decreased 0.1 percent to 84.68, the lowest in more than a week.
— With assistance by Adam Haigh
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