Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks slumped Tuesday, reversing course after their biggest weekly gain of the year, as government bond yields plumbed record lows and crude oil prices tumbled. Major U.S. indexes pared gains Tuesday, with some investors and analysts questioning whether the previous week's bounce back had been exaggerated. In the U.S., shares of financial, materials and energy companies led the day's losses, as investors moved away from risky assets. Financial stocks, which have suffered among the biggest losses after the U.K. voted to leave the EU, slid Tuesday.
European stocks moved sharply lower again Tuesday, as concerns over the U.K.'s Brexit vote gripped the market after three London asset manages suspended trading in a property funds. The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 1.7% to close at 324.17, with all sectors ending lower. The financial sector posted the biggest losses in Europe, after three U.K. asset managers froze funds exposed to U.K. property because of a rapid increase in redemptions following the June 23 EU referendum.
Shares in China bucked a slump across Asia on Tuesday, as Chinese investors became more hopeful about President Xi Jinping's calls for overhauling state-owned enterprises. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.7%, Korea's Kospi lost 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended down 1.5%. China's Shanghai Composite Index, however, gained 0.6% to end at 3006.39, closing above the psychologically important 3000 level for the first time since mid-April. Stocks in China rose on the hope that the government is serious about fixing the state-owned sector, and on expectations of increased military spending spurred by simmering tensions in the South China Sea. Elsewhere, Japanese stocks fell while the yen strengthened in the morning to last trade at 101.86 to one U.S. dollar. A strong yen makes Japanese exports less price-competitive and diminishes exporters' foreign-currency returns.
Australian shares finished sharply lower Tuesday following lackluster economic data and amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding federal politics that has weighed on the major banks. The central bank's decision to hold its key cash rate steady at a record-low 1.75% put additional weight on the market late in the session. The call had been widely anticipated but the bank's policy statement offered no clear indication as to whether another cut is imminent. Snapping a four-session run higher, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 53.8 points, or 1%, to finish at 5228.0 with all industry sectors in the red other than the basket of utilities stocks.
Copper closed lower in London as speculation waned that China would increase economic stimulus. The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was down 1.55% at $4,817 a ton at the PM kerb close, after touching two-month highs on Monday. The other base metals were largely down. Aluminium closed up 0.2% at $1,644/t, zinc was down 0.4% at $2,106/t, nickel was down 4.8% at $9,659/t, and lead was down 1.1% at $1,821/t.
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