NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stock indices were lower on Tuesday after weaker-than-expected earnings, while the dollar fell for a fifth straight session against the yen.
U.S. stocks were pulled down by retailers, including TJX Companies, which posted lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.
A persistent fall in U.S. Treasury yields, reflecting uncertainty about global economic growth, has undermined the dollar recently. But U.S. Treasuries were mostly flat.
“There’s a little bit of risk-off sentiment given the declines in stocks,” said Kim Rupert, managing director for fixed income at Action Economics in San Francisco.
Concerns surrounding Ukraine remained an “undercurrent,” she said.
MSCI’s all-world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was down 0.4 percent, while European shares closed down 0.1 percent.
Vodafone shares fell after the company wrote down the value of some of its European businesses, citing fierce competition and regulatory changes in Europe.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 117.26 points, or 0.71 percent, at 16,394.60. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 11.23 points, or 0.60 percent, at 1,873.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 25.99 points, or 0.63 percent, at 4,099.83.
Shares of TJX tumbled 7.1 percent to $54.27 while the S&P retail index lost 0.8 percent. Within the retail space, “unless they are solely focussed on the East Coast... that is kind of disturbing,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, noting other parts of the country were not as affected by the winter weather.
Investors will soon turn their focus to minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting, due on Wednesday, and whether that will shed light on the likelihood and timing of rate rises.
At the same time, markets are optimistic over support from the European Central Bank, one of the few central banks still keeping monetary policy loose.
The dollar was down 0.3 percent against the yen to 101.26 JPY=. The pair traded below the 200-day moving average, a key technical gauge, for a second straight day.
The Australian dollar was the biggest mover of the day, falling to a two-week low against the greenback on a slide in prices for iron ore, the country’s biggest export earner.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note prices were up 6/32 to yield 2.5124 percent, from 2.536 percent late Monday.
Brent crude was up 49 cents at $109.86 a barrel, supported by instability in Libya, while U.S. crude for July delivery rose 5 cents at $102.16. Platinum prices edged higher as South Africa’s longest and costliest miners’ strike continued. Spot platinum was up 0.4 percent.
Nervousness also washed in from Asia, where Thailand declared martial law overnight after months of unrest.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.4 percent.
Additional reporting by Marc Jones and John Geddie in London and Sam Forgione and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler