US stocks drop as Brent sinks below $100 on China import data6 min read . Updated: 08 Sep 2014, 08:25 PM IST
The S&P 500 Index fell 0.3% as energy shares led declines
The S&P 500 Index fell 0.3% as energy shares led declines
New York: Brent crude fell below $100 for the first time since June 2013 and the US stocks retreated as China trade data fuelled concerns of a supply surplus. The pound weakened the most in more than a year against the dollar on concern Scotland will vote for independence.
Brent retreated 1.2% to $99.66 a barrel at 10:30 am in New York, while West Texas Intermediate dropped to the lowest in almost eight months. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.3% as energy shares led declines. Yields on 10- year treasuries slipped four basis points to 2.44%. The British currency lost 1.1% to $1.6141 and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.5%.
China’s trade surplus climbed to a record in August, as imports fell for a second month, bolstering concern there’s a global oil surplus. The percentage of voters in favour of Scotland breaking from the UK rose to 51% less than two weeks before the referendum, according to a YouGov Plc poll for the Sunday Times. A ceasefire in Ukraine is being tested by reports of fighting.
“The oil market is looking weaker from a fundamental perspective," Michael Cohen, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York, said by phone. “Production continues to rise while demand is looking soft."
Crude prices have weakened for more than two months as economies from Europe to Asia show signs of slowing while oil output in Libya and the US climbs. Growth in China, the biggest oil consuming country after the US, will drop to 7.4% this year, according to economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Libya, holder of Africa’s biggest crude reserves, is pumping 720,000 barrels a day, up from a monthly average of 400,000 a day in July.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2% after a five-week rally pushed the benchmark gauge to an all-time high. Energy shares plunged 1.6% as a group, for the biggest decline among 10 main industries in the index. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. each sank 1.3%.
Among other stocks moving, Ford Motor Co. slipped 1.8% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares of the automaker. Campbell Soup Co. slid 2.4% as its 2015 profit forecast was less than analysts had estimated. Yahoo! Inc. climbed 3.3% after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said it plans to raise as much as $21.1 billion in an initial public offering (IPO).
“You have five weeks of S&P growth, we may be in the overbought territory," Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Milwaukee-based RW Baird & Co., which oversees $110 billion, said in a phone interview. “You generally don’t continue to grow forever."
The S&P 500 trades at 18.1 times the reported earnings of its members, near the highest level in four years. The gauge hasn’t posted a four-day streak of losses in all of 2014 and the last time it fell more than 10% was three years ago.
Ten-year treasury yields dropped, as the notes halted a slide that sent them to their biggest weekly loss since March. US government securities are heading for their biggest annual advance since 2011, supported by demand due to unrest in Ukraine and the Middle East.
The pound, the fourth most traded globally, dropped to as low as $1.6103 on Monday, the least since 21 November, and weakened 1.1% to 80.226 pence per euro.
Shocked into action by a poll showing the Yes campaign ahead for the first time this year just 10 days before a referendum on independence, all three main UK parties said they would cede more control over the levers of policy making to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Scots nationalist leader Alex Salmond dismissed the move on Sunday as a “bribe" that wouldn’t sway voters in the 18 September ballot.
“There seems to be plenty of scope for further pound declines, given the pronounced degree of uncertainty and unknowns related to a breakup," Derek Halpenny, the head of global-markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in London, wrote in emailed comments. “A ‘Yes’ victory is still hardly priced as this only has become a focus since the middle of last week, when we had the first surprise poll. I see little upside for the pound now through to 18 September."
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback against 10 major peers including the pound, added 0.2% on Monday after falling 0.1% on 5 September. The gauge climbed 0.9% last week, its third consecutive weekly advance.
The yield on 30-year UK gilts climbed to 3.123%. Two-year notes rallied, pushing yields six basis points lower to 0.746%, amid speculation a Scotland breakaway would encourage the Bank of England to keep interest rates lower for longer.
The Stoxx 600 fell 0.7% for a second day of losses as investors weighed valuations and the FTSE 100 Index sank 1% for the biggest decline among 18 western-European markets.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc, the two banks that lend the most in Scotland, slid more than 2% each. Oil and gas producers posted the second-biggest loss of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Brent crude slipped 99.72 a barrel in London. The last time it traded below $100 was on 24 June, 2013. West Texas Intermediate for October delivery lost as much as 95 cents, or 1%, to $92.34 a barrel in New York, the lowest since January.
China’s slowing imports reinforced signs of a surplus supply. The country’s trade surplus climbed to a record in August as exports rose on the back of increased shipments to the US and Europe, while imports fell for a second month as a property slump hurt domestic demand.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased 0.4%, paced by gains in China Telecom Corp. Trading venues in mainland China and South Korea are closed on Monday. Markets in Hong Kong are closed for a holiday on Tuesday, when the mainland resumes trading. South Korea doesn’t reopen until 11 September, with markets shut for the Harvest Moon festival. Taiwan is also shut on Monday.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.2% in the first gain in three days as Indian and Indonesian gauges touched records. The Sensex advanced 1.1%, extending a 1.5% rally last week after economic growth data on 29 August beat estimates.
Russia’s ruble slid 0.5% to 37.133 per dollar and was little changed against the euro at 48.077. The Micex Index in Moscow was 0.6% lower after surging 5.3% last week, the most since March.
While Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels agreed to a ceasefire on 5 September, Ukraine said on Monday its army positions were being shelled as the United Nations human rights chief said the conflict has claimed at least 3,000 lives since mid-April.
The European Union’s president said the bloc is ready to review economic sanctions against Russia, which the EU and the US accuse of aiding the rebels, if the ceasefire holds.
Nickel for delivery in three months rose as high as $19,920 a metric tonne in London, the highest since 3 July. The metal extended the longest winning streak in two months amid concern that the Philippines will fall. Nickel from the Philippines is used to make nickel pig iron in China. Bloomberg
Jonathan Burgos and Wes Goodman in Singapore, David Goodman and James Herron in London and Nick Gentle in Hong Kong also contributed to this story.