Market Update & Important Indicators
Global stocks fell sharply as worries about the pace of global growth and uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's plans to raise interest rates continued to fuel big swings in markets. The Fed's recent decision to keep interest rates unchanged sparked renewed fears over sluggish global growth and left investors second-guessing when the central bank will raise rates. Investors are awaiting new data on the health of the Chinese economy, including the Caixin manufacturing activity reading for September, scheduled for release on Wednesday.
Europe's stock benchmark fell to its lowest closing level since late August, with car makers posting some of the biggest losses following calls for a wider probe of the industry in the wake of Volkswagen's emission-test scandal. The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 3.1% to end at 346.67, suffering its third loss in four sessions.
Asian currencies weakened after U.S. Federal Reserve officials suggested interest rates could be raised as early as next month, but the region's major stock markets gained modestly ahead of a reading on Chinese manufacturing. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9%, leading most of the region higher. As Chinese President Xi Jinping makes his first state visit to the U.S., the benchmark is down 38% from its June peak, after a selloff that rattled global markets in August. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.2%. Shares in Southeast Asia, though, were down, as their currencies fell. Indonesia's JSX was off 0.6%.
A late rally Tuesday helped Australian shares recover a chunk of the ground lost at the start of the week as the market took its lead from overseas. The S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.7% to finish Tuesday at 5103.6 as energy shares drove broad gains. The benchmark index had slumped 2% on Monday, the sharpest one-day fall in more than a week amid heightened concerns over global economic growth.
Copper closed much lower in London, hit by continued worries over the economy in China, the biggest consumer of this metal. Brent was up 0.3% to $49.08/bbl. Gold lost 0.8% overnight to $1,125/oz. The AUD is buying US$0.71.
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