The S&P 500 index’s 0.2 percent decline on Monday was its worst performance in two weeks and the Dow Jones industrial average also fell, following a drop of 1.4 percent for the Nasdaq Composite Index amid worries about valuations for some technology stocks.
U.S. markets were closed on Tuesday for the Columbus Day holiday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.6 percent while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.9 percent despite a boost from a local jobs report that showed more positions were added than expected, while the Topix rose 0.5 percent after a choppy session.
European shares were mixed and in early trade on Wednesday, with London’s FTSE 100 advancing 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX 30 adding 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent amid ongoing protests in France over fuel taxes.
The European Central Bank on Wednesday left its main interest rate unchanged but said it will end its quantitative easing program in December as planned, and sharply lowered its inflation projections for 2019 to below 1 percent. The bank also took a more cautious tone with regards to the strength of the Eurozone economy due to growing external threats.
The euro fell to a one-week low of $1.1372, down 0.5 percent against the greenback and the pound edged higher after unexpectedly good retail sales data for September and as Brexit talks remain deadlocked for a fourth week running. Sterling was up around 1 percent at $1.2764, also boosted by a weaker dollar.
The Japanese yen is steady against the U.S. dollar at 110.46, after earlier touching a one-week high of 110.76 per greenback.
U.S stocks moved lower overnight with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq suffering their steepest declines in nearly three months as technology companies extended a recent slump amid growing concerns over Facebook’s data privacy scandal and its effect on the sector.
The S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent, with the technology sector down 1.1 percent after Facebook shares dropped 6.7 percent overnight. The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.3 percent, while the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.5 percent amid losses in Apple and Walmart.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday as a report of a rise in U.S. inventories added to concerns about the outlook for demand, while markets were rattled by turmoil surrounding Saudi Arabia’s leadership and its diplomatic dispute with Canada. Brent crude futures declined 54 cents to settle at $72.76 a barrel, a 0.6 percent loss. U.S. crude futures fell 54 cents to settle at $67.72 a barrel, a 0.7 percent loss.
Gold price edged lower on Wednesday as the dollar strengthened ahead of key remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and on growing worries over the outcome of negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,212.27 an ounce at 1415 GMT.
London copper fell to a three-week low of $6,711 a tonne on concerns over demand from top consumer China amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute and sanctions against top producer Rusal.
The Nikkei is currently trading at 21,364.23 (-0.49%), as losses across all sectors and individual companies continue as traders react to the recent sell-off on global stock markets and uncertainty over the trade war between the US and China; heavyweight exporters such as Softbank and Toyota are seeing losses of 0.90% and 0.50% respectively
The Hang Seng is currently trading at 31,910.03 (-0.86%) as investors look to continue with the previous session’s sell-off on global stock markets and uncertainty over the trade war between the US and China; heavyweight exporters such as Tencent are seeing losses of 0.90%
The Shanghai Composite is currently trading at 2,532.50 (-0.92%) as traders continue with the previous day’s sell-off on global stock markets and uncertainty over the trade war between the US and China; this has led to heavyweight exporters such as Petrochina seeing losses of 2.27%
Stocks in Europe are suffering their worst day since February, with most indices close to or down more than one percent compared with the previous session; banks and auto stocks weighing on indices after Facebook’s drop overnight . This has led to resources which are seen to be risky, such as banks, losing ground; top fallers on the FTSE 100 include mining stocks Antofagasta and Anglo American which are down 3.39% and 3.58% respectively.