TOKYO – Global stocks sagged Wednesday as pessimism about global growth spread following a decline on Wall Street overnight and a strengthening yen, which dampened prospects for export-oriented Japan.
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KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX edged down 0.4 percent to 9,049.38 in early trading, while France's CAC 40 was little changed at 4,209.39. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.3 percent at 6,477.61. U.S. shares were set to recoup some of the losses from the previous session, with Dow futures inching up 0.05 percent to 16,660.00. S&P 500 futures were up 0.1 percent at 1,930.30.
ASIA'S DAY: The Nikkei 225, the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, lost 1.2 percent to close at 15,595.98. Hong Kong's Hang Seng trimmed 0.7 percent to 23,263.33, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.4 percent to 1,965.25. Sydney, Singapore and Taiwan also declined.
GROWTH WORRIES: Market players were turning less upbeat about the future of global economies after the IMF trimmed its outlook for this year and next, mostly because of weaker expansions in Japan, Latin America and Europe. The IMF expects the global economy will grow 3.3 percent this year, slightly below what it forecast in July.
LOOKING AHEAD: The U.S. Federal Reserve is due to release notes on its latest meeting on Wednesday. Investors will be looking for signs of when the Fed might raise interest rates. The first rate increase is not expected until mid-2015.
ANALYST TAKE: Takuya Takahashi, strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo, said a number of factors were at work, including the decline on the U.S. market and signs of the German economy slowing down. "Concerns about the world economy are working to push stock prices down," he said. "I was expecting them to go down even further." But he said players were taking a wait-and-see attitude ahead of comments from the Fed and earnings from U.D. companies.
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WALL STREET: On Tuesday, concerns about global growth sent U.S. share prices lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.5 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.6 percent.
GERMAN INDUSTRY: German industrial output fell 4 percent in August, far more than expected. The slump follows other disappointing economic reports and suggests Europe's economy will not recover as strongly as hoped in the third quarter, keeping a lid on the 18-country eurozone.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.18 to $87.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 93 cents to close at $91.18 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.2649 from $1.2630. The dollar was trading at 108.16 yen, down from 108.61 yen.
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