Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks slipped following steep declines in Europe and Asia that came amid fresh jitters about the world's economy. New declines in government bond yields and a strengthening yen highlighted investor concerns about global growth, central bank policies and the impact of an upcoming U.K. vote on whether to remain in the European Union, The declines in U.S. indexes came after stocks in Europe and Asia fell sharply.
The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 1.8% to close at 326.80, its lowest level since February. Among investor concerns are polls suggesting a close-fought race in the U.K. referendum on June 23. Some recent surveys have suggested momentum is growing for the campaign to leave the EU, spurring concerns that a U.K. exit could trigger a period of uncertainty in financial markets and damage economic growth.
Stocks in Japan plunged on Monday as worries about a potential exit by the U.K. from the European Union left investors scrambling for safe haven assets, sending the Japanese yen stronger and bond yields lower yet again. The Nikkei Stock Average posted its steepest loss in six weeks. It closed down 3.5%, leading losses in Asia. Shares are down nearly 16% since the beginning of the year. Beyond Japan, Asia markets suffered steep losses as well. The Shanghai Composite Index dove during the afternoon session to end down 3.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 2.7%. Japan’s shares took the heaviest hit as investors piled into the Japanese yen, seen as a safe haven during times of uncertainty and volatility. Closer to home, investors are watching how Chinese share markets trade in the lead-up to MSCI Inc.'s decision on whether it will include mainland stocks into its widely-tracked benchmarks. In Australia, markets were closed Monday for a public holiday.
Copper futures closed higher in London, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar. The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was up 1% at $4,557 a ton at the PM kerb close. Among the other base metals, aluminium closed up 2.2% at $1,603 a ton, zinc was down 0.7% at $2,066 a ton, nickel was down 0.5% at $8,840 a ton, and lead was up 0.7% at $1,703 a ton.
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