December 14, 2017
Monday, January 5, 2015

Energy shares lead Wall Street to worst day since early Oct

The S&P 500 had its worst day in almost three months today, with energy shares leading the decline as global economic concerns were compounded by swooning oil prices.

The S&P closed off 1.8 percent in its first four-day losing streak since December 2013 and its biggest drop since Oct. 9. It fell as much as 1.99 percent in the session while the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled as much as 2 percent.

Crude oil futures prices dropped to their lowest since 2009 amid a global supply glut and lackluster demand. US crude fell 5 percent to below $50 a barrel.

The euro fell to a near nine-year low against the dollar of $1.18605 on the EBS platform, tumbling on political uncertainty in Greece and fears of a possible Greek exit from the euro zone.

There were more than three times as many declining stocks on the New York Stock Exchange as advancing issues and more than twice as many Nasdaq losers than gainers.

Strength in the dollar also put more pressure on dollar-denominated commodities. A measure of the greenback against a basket of major currencies hit its highest since December 2005.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 331.34 points, or 1.86 percent, to 17,501.65, the S&P 500 lost 37.62 points, or 1.83 percent, to 2,020.58 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 74.24 points, or 1.57 percent, to 4,652.57.

The S&P 500 energy sector closed off 4 percent, its largest daily percentage decline since November 28. It fell almost 20 percent in the second half of last year.

European equities also fell sharply in choppy trading, with concerns over Greece's future in the euro zone and a steep drop in prices of crude oil and copper hurting financial and commodities stocks the most.

Energy and mining shares were the worst hit. The European oil and gas and basic resources indexes fell 4.9 percent and 3.6 percent respectively after a supply glut sent oil prices to a 5-1/2-year low and copper hit a 4-1/2-year trough due to a stronger dollar.

Investors fear the Jan. 25 election in Greece could vault the left-wing Syriza party into power, raising the risk of a sovereign default.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 fell 3.7 percent, the biggest one-day percentage drop since late 2011. Greece's ATG fell 5.6 percent, with National Bank , Bank of Piraeus and Alpha Bank slipping 5.2 to 7.4 percent.

Greek jitters hit regional stocks. Italy's FTSE MIB and Spain's IBEX fell 4.9 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, while Britain's FTSE, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 were down 2.0 to 3.3 percent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 ended 2.3 percent weaker at 1,332.47 points.

Earlier, Japanese stocks slipped on their first trading day of 2015 as risk appetite was soured by weak prospects for global growth, offsetting gains in airline stocks which rose after crude oil prices dropped to fresh 5-1/2-year lows.

The Nikkei benchmark ended 0.2 percent lower at 17,408.71 points, giving up earlier gains which were fueled by speculation that the Bank Of Japan was buying stocks.

In morning trade, it dropped more than 1 percent to its lowest since December 18.

The broader Topix shed 0.5 percent to 1,401.09, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.6 percent to 12,697.59.

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Tags:  Stocks  shares  FTSEurofirst  Nikkei  US  Dow Jones  

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia