Stocks wobble before U.S. debate, output deal hope lifts oil

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock prices around the world fell on Monday ahead of the first U.S. presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, while oil prices rose in advance of an informal OPEC meeting in Algeria on hopes for an output cut.

Traders and Executives from Valvoline Inc. await the first trade during the company's IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Half of America’s likely voters will rely on the presidential debates to help them make their choice between the two major U.S. party nominees in the Nov. 8 election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.

“Investors are acting extremely nervous with regards to the debate ... and it highlights the fact that the markets are not focussing on the health of the economy, interest rates and geopolitical events,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 166.62 points, or 0.91 percent, to 18,094.83, the S&P 500 declined 18.59 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,146.1 and the Nasdaq Composite decreased 48.26 points, or 0.91 percent, to 5,257.49.

European stocks fell, dragged down by a pullback in the shares of major banking and energy companies. Deutsche Bank shares hit a record low on worries about Germany’s biggest lender in the wake of a massive $14 billion demand from the U.S. Department of Justice to settle claims on bad mortgage-backed securities.

Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed at 1,338.26, down 1.6 percent for its worst one-day loss since July 6.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index ended 1.3 percent lower.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, fell 3.9 points, or 0.9 percent, to 416.08.

Oil prices rose as much as 4 percent after Algeria’s energy minister said on Sunday that all options were possible for an output cut or freeze at this week’s informal meeting of OPEC producers.

Brent crude settled $1.46, or 3.18 percent, higher at $47.35 a barrel. U.S. crude settled up $1.45, or 3.26 percent, at $45.93 per barrel.


Bank of Japan Governor Hiruhiko Kuroda said Monday the central bank would use all tools necessary to get inflation back to its 2-percent target, but his remarks did little to shift a conviction among bank analysts that the Bank of Japan is increasingly unable to weaken the yen.

The dollar shed 0.7 percent to 100.25 yen, moving back toward a one-month low of 100.10 touched last week, while the euro fell 0.5 percent to 112.82 yen.

The greenback has fallen since the U.S. Federal Reserve’s downgrade of its economic outlook last week. It also hinted it is in no rush to raise U.S. interest rates although it left the door open for a possible hike in December.

Bets on a gradual pace of U.S. rate increases, together with jitters about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in about seven weeks, underpinned demand for U.S. and German government debt, sending their 10-year yields to their lowest in over two weeks.

U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield slipped 3 basis points at 1.584 percent, while the German 10-year yields fell 2 basis points to minus 0.10 percent.

Spot gold prices erased their initial gains as earlier buying linked to a weaker dollar and safehaven demand in advance of the presidential debate faded. They were last down 0.09 percent, at $1,340.5 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru, Abhinav Ramnrayan, Patrick Graham in London, Lisa Twaronite, Leika Kihara in Tokyo; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski