Global stocks fall slightly on geopolitical fears

Published: June 15, 2019 10:21:52 | Updated: June 18, 2019 13:11:55

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Global equity markets struggled and safe-haven assets like gold were in demand on Friday as weak Chinese data stoked investor anxieties over a global growth slowdown.

The fears of a US-Iran confrontation also added to geopolitical uncertainty.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18.96 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 26,087.81, the S&P 500 lost 4.11 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 2,887.53 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 29.82 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7,807.32.

MSCI’s broad gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33 per cent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.35 per cent, reports Reuters.

Growing worries about a new US-Iranian confrontation set crude prices on a rollercoaster ride, with Brent futures gaining 0.2 per cent to $61.42 per barrel.

Brent surged 2.2 per cent on Thursday after the Norwegian- and Japanese-owned tankers both experienced explosions.

The dollar index climbed to its highest in a week after encouraging retail sales data for May eased fears that the US economy is slowing sharply, ahead of the Fed’s meeting next week.

The dollar index rose 0.35 per cent, with the euro down 0.47 per cent to $1.1222.

Short-dated US Treasury yields jumped, flattening the yield curve, after data showed a pick-up in consumer spending that subdued investor fears of rapid economic decay in the second quarter.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.0925 per cent, from 2.091 per cent late on Thursday.

Gold pared some gains, but stayed on track for its third straight advance.

Spot gold added 0.4 per cent to $1,347.49 an ounce.

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