World stock indexes fell on Monday after a surprise contraction in Chinese trade reignited fears of a sharper slowdown in global growth and caused investors to sell riskier assets.
Oil prices fell more than 2 percent and the safe-haven yen rose against the dollar following the China news, which added to worries that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods were taking a toll on the world`s second-largest economy.
"The biggest theme (in the market today) is risk-off," said John Doyle, vice president of dealing and trading at Tempus, Inc.
Data from China showed imports fell 7.6 percent year-on-year in December while analysts had predicted a 5-percent rise. Exports dropped 4.4 percent, confounding expectations for a 3-percent gain.
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The United States and China - the world`s two largest economies - have been in talks for months to try to resolve their bitter trade war, with no signs of substantial progress.
Adding to the gloom were weak industrial output numbers from the euro zone, which showed the largest fall in nearly three years.
Softening demand has been felt around the world, with sales of goods ranging from iPhones to automobiles slowing, prompting profit warnings from Apple
Trade-sensitive shares eased, including Boeing Co
"It will be a big thing to see if the Chinese slowdown is real, or if it is an excuse for some companies not to hit the high growth seen last quarter," said Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital in San Francisco. "If things are really slowing down, you`ll start to see it show up this quarter in earnings."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> fell 86.11 points, or 0.36 percent, to 23,909.84, the S&P 500 <.spx> lost 13.65 points, or 0.53 percent, to 2,582.61 and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> dropped 65.56 points, or 0.94 percent, to 6,905.92.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.stoxx> lost 0.48 percent and MSCI`s gauge of stocks across the globe <.miwd00000pus> shed 0.51 percent.
U.S. Treasury yields rose as risk sentiment improved after President Donald Trump said he was not looking to declare a national emergency amid a partial government shutdown.
Benchmark 10-year notes
In the foreign exchange market, the Japanese yen
The prospect of slowing global growth also roiled some commodity markets. Industrial metals copper
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended down 0.8 percent at $5,897 a tonne, its lowest in more than a week.
Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on the global slowdown concerns.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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