China worries drive US stocks down

  • 02/09/2015
Closing numbers are illuminated on a board above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the market closes for the day in New York (Reuters)
Closing numbers are illuminated on a board above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the market closes for the day in New York (Reuters)

US stocks have lost another nearly three percent as new data offered more evidence that China's industrial machine is stalling.

Losses were especially heavy in shares of banks and oil companies, but the selloff also extended to tech giants like Amazon and Apple.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 469.68 points (2.84 percent) at 16,058.35 on Tuesday (local time).

The broader S&P 500 plunged 58.33 points (2.96 percent) to 1,913.85, and the Nasdaq Composite gave up 140.40 (2.94 percent) at 4,636.10.

Wall Street followed sharp selloffs in Asia and Europe, after China's official purchasing managers' index fell to its lowest level in three years in August, suggesting the manufacturing sector was contracting.

In Indonesia, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde indicated that the institution was likely to again cut its estimate for world growth this year, after trimming it to 3.3 percent just two months ago.

"The market is in a situation where it can only see reasons to fall. We are adapting to a world where economic growth is going to be slower than believed in recent months, because of the hit from China and the emerging economies," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services.

Citigroup and Bank of America led a big fall in banking shares, both sinking about 4.7 percent.

Dow members ExxonMobil lost 4.2 percent and Chevron 3.5 percent as oil prices buckled again under the Chinese data.

Large tech shares also tumbled hard: Apple lost 4.3 percent, Google 3.3 percent and Amazon 3.2 percent.

A solid August for US car sales did not help automakers either: GM lost 2.7 percent and Ford 1.1 percent.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury slipped to 2.17 percent from 2.20 percent Monday while the 30-year was flat at 2.93 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

AFP