U.S. stocks turned mostly up yesterday after another late-session comeback that came as investors looked for hopeful signals from Europe in dealing with a possible Greek departure from the euro. Renewed speculation over Greece exiting the euro zone took a heavy toll on European stocks, as investors also awaited signs of any developments emerging from an informal summit of European Union leaders. Asia markets mostly fell in choppy trading this morning, losing steam after data showed Chinese manufacturing activity slowing.
Recovering from a 191-point drop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 6.66 points, or 0.1%, at 12 496.15. The S&P 500 Index gained 2.23 points, or 0.2%, to 1 318.86, with natural-resource firms rising the most and utilities the worst performer of its 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite Index also turned around, rising 11.04 points, or 0.4%, to 2 850.12. For every two stocks declining, three gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 863 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 4.1 billion.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 2.1% lower at 239.51, the worst day since April 23. The drop erased a 1.9% gain on Tuesday that was the biggest one-day advance seen since April 17. The French CAC 40 index dropped 2.6% to 3 003.27 and London’s FTSE 100 index fell 2.5% to 5 266.4.1 The German DAX 30 index shed 2.3% to 6 285.75.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index and South Korea’s Kospi each dropped 0.3% gain. All had traded in positive territory earlier in the session. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average, however, managed to reverse its losses to rise 0.1% in the final hour of trade.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.25 to the euro, 1.56 to the pound and will buy 79.48 Japanese Yen or 8.38 South African Rand.
The JSE All Share index was down 1.18% to 33 092.16 points, with the platinum index shedding 2.34%, resources losing 2.04% and gold counters were down 1.72%. Financials lost 0.61%, banking stocks dropped 0.81% and industrials lost 0.87%. The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.390%, from Tuesday’s close of 6.315% and Monday’s close of 6.340%. The R207 was bid at 7.610% and offered at 7.580% from a previous close of 7.515% and the R186 was trading at 8.320% from its close of 8.250%.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 548.40/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 417.00/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 105.56 per barrel.