February 9, 2015 / 8:02 PM / 3 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares slip on China growth fears, Greece tensions

* Chinese trade data weaker-than-expected

* Greek Prime Minister rules out bailout extension

* Violence in Eastern Ukraine weighs on European shares

* Oil rises on OPEC forecast of greater demand, less supply (Updates prices to close of European bond, stock markets)

By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Stock indexes worldwide slipped on Monday on weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data and uncertainty about Greece’s position in the eurozone, while oil prices surged after an optimistic demand forecast from OPEC.

Wall Street and European shares slumped after data on Sunday showed China’s exports fell 3.3 percent from a year ago while imports tumbled 19.9 percent, raising concerns about the world’s second-largest economy.

In addition to the weak Chinese data, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ruled out extending the country’s bailout on Sunday and said he would reverse some of the reforms imposed by its lenders, escalating tensions between Greece and its European partners and raising fears of a Greek exit from the euro zone.

Tensions rose further on Monday after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Greeks should not expect the euro zone to accept the latest terms proposed by Greece. Greek banking shares tumbled.

“It sounds like there is no real plan to solve Greece’s problems,” said Robert Stein, chief executive officer at Astor Investment Management in Chicago, who also cited the Chinese data as a headwind. “Your first reaction is to sell.”

Violence in Eastern Ukraine also weighed on shares. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday his administration is looking at all options in handling the crisis in Ukraine, but he has not yet decided whether the United States will provide lethal arms to Kiev.

Oil prices rose for a third straight session as OPEC forecast greater demand for crude this year and projected less supply from countries outside the group. Brent crude was last up 52 cents at $58.32 a barrel. U.S. crude settled up $1.17 at $52.86 per barrel.

The Japanese yen firmed against the U.S. dollar after two straight days of losses, largely on the concerns over Greece’s status and the conflict in Ukraine.

The Dow Jones industrial average was last down 0.54 percent, at 17,728.69. The S&P 500 was down 0.39 percent, at 2,047.51. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3 percent, at 4,730.06.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top regional shares ended 0.73 percent lower, at 1,480.01. MSCI’s all-country world stock index was last down 0.33 percent, to 419.12.

Safe-haven U.S. Treasury yields inched lower. Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, which move inversely to prices, were last at 1.93 percent from 1.94 percent late Friday.

The dollar was last down 0.53 percent against the yen at 118.505 yen. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was down 0.27 percent, at 94.445.

The weakness in European equities helped gold recover from a three-week low hit Friday. Spot gold prices were last up $8.08 or 0.66 percent, at $1,241.30 an ounce. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by John Geddie in London, Blaise Robinson in Paris, and Chuck Mikolajczak and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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