U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors assessed the impact of Turkey's currency crisis and escalating trade tensions between the United States and its trading partners.
The broad-based S&P 500 and tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index both gained 0.3 per cent, with the S&P at 2,831.47 and the Nasdaq at 7,845.85. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 26.20 points or 0.42 percent to 6,252.20 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 25.50 points or 0.40 percent at 6,341.30. Also, rising USA interest rates are drawing money out of emerging markets in search of higher returns. Retailers and smaller companies are making some of the biggest gains. Shares of Citigroup, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs rose between 0.20% and 1% signaling a recovery in bank stocks.
Elsewhere, the tech-laden Nasdaq clung closer to the baseline to add almost 5 points to 7,824 while Toronto's TSX climbed even further to jump almost 27 points to 16,277. The Argentine peso and India's rupee hit record lows against the dollar. Of the 458 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 79 percent have beaten analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. But those jitters eased somewhat later Tuesday. Economists say Turkey's central bank still needs to raise interest rates significantly to strengthen its currency.
In the corporate sector, VF Corp. announced that its Board intends to separate the company into two independent, publicly traded companies: VF Corporation, and a yet-to-be named company, which will hold VF's Jeans and VF Outlet businesses. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled out that step.
BONDS: Bond prices were little changed.
Benchmarks in New Zealand and Taiwan gained while Singapore declined.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber fell 2.8 percent in low volumes after brokerage Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to "equal-weight". Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 22 cents to $72.83 per barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline picked up 1 percent to $2.03 a gallon.
The S&P 500 energy index .SPNY dropped 3.5 percent as a fall in crude prices was exacerbated by an unexpected surge in US stockpiles.
CHINA COOLING: Growth in factory output, consumer spending and retail sales were weaker than expected in July, adding to signs of an economic slowdown. Natural gas rose 1 percent to $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The lira rose about 8 per cent to 6.36 (per USA dollar), after falling to a record-low of 7.24 on Monday (local time).
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 2.3 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.40-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.18-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.7 percent while Seoul's Kospi advanced 0.5 percent.