March 9, 2014
Stocks slip, dollar eases on taper speculation
Global equity markets traded slightly lower today while the dollar and US Treasury yields eased on a growing view that the Federal Reserve will need additional positive data before it decides to scale back its economic stimulus.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 52.40 points, or 0.33 percent, at 15,973.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 5.75 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,802.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 8.26 points, or 0.20 percent, to 4,060.49.
European stocks were steady in early trade as uncertainty over the timing of the US Federal Reserve's reduction of its stimulus programme kept investors on edge.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.02 percent at 1,272.66 points, failing to rebound from last week's sell-off.
Stocks have rallied strongly this year, with the FTSEurofirst 300 up 12 percent, but the run-up stalled in late October following a raft of lower-than-expected corporate results and on expectations that the Fed would soon start to trim its bond buying.
Late on Monday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voting member on the Fed's policymaking committee, said the central bank could slightly reduce its monthly bond purchases this month, in reaction to signs of an improved labour market.
Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.03 percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 flat. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.1 percent at 2,992.61 points.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei stock average pulled back from a one-week high as investors booked gains before the year-end, with the benchmark heading for its best annual rise in over four decades. The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 15,611.31 after rallying 2.3 percent yesterday, its best one-day gain in three months, spurred by a slide in the yen after an upbeat US jobs report raised expectations the Federal Reserve will soon begin removing its stimulus.