Image: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A 6.0 percent tumble in Chinese shares on Tuesday, and weak earnings from Wal-Mart pressured U.S. stocks and copper prices saw six year lows.
Chinese stocks earlier plunged on concerns that companies may pull more money out of China as economic growth slows, lowering earnings for U.S. and European companies dependent on revenue from China.
The Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC closed down 6.1 percent at 3,749.12 points in its biggest daily decline since July 27, after recovering for three days. The CSI300 index .CSI300 of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 6.2 percent at 3,825.41.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
“You would think that a 6.0 percent China move amid the recent currency adjustments would have netted a more negative result,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 33.84 points, or 0.19 percent, to 17,511.34, the S&P 500 <.SPX> dropped 5.52 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,096.92 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> declined 32.35 points, or 0.64 percent, to 5,059.35.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was down 1.2 percent after hitting its lowest since July 2013. Japan’s Nikkei <.N225> dipped 0.3 percent.
MSCI’s all-country world stock index <.MIWD00000PUS> eased 0.31 percent.
Britain’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> closed down 0.4 percent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst index of 300 leading shares managed a gain of 0.2 percent <.FTEU3>, after earlier declines. Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> dropped 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 <.FCHI> fell 0.3 percent.
The worries about China came on a day when trade in the yuan was relatively calm after Beijing fixed the currency’s exchange rate marginally higher for the third successive session.
China’s central bank on Tuesday set the yuan’s midpoint
Concerns about slowing demand for commodities from China also hit copper prices
Crude oil prices recovered though from initial declines after bullish U.S. housing data and on bets on an inventory decline.
Brent oil futures
U.S. housing starts rose to a near eight-year high in July as builders ramped up construction of single-family homes, suggesting that the economy was firing on almost all cylinders.
The U.S. housing data on Tuesday added to good employment, retail sales, and industrial output data recently in suggesting the economy got off to a strong start in the third quarter.
The steady flow of upbeat economic reports has bolstered views that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September.
“The Fed is likely to take further reassurance that housing is on an improving trend and this should add to the view that the economy is in more normal territory,” said John Ryding, an economist at RDQ Economics in New York.
Investors will look to U.S. inflation data and minutes of last month’s Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, as they seek for further clues as to when the Fed will begin raising interest rates.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Clive McKeef)
Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.