Global stocks fall for second day amid oil, Greece worries
BEIJING (AP) Global stocks sank Tuesday for a second day as slumping oil prices and concern Greece might leave the European currency union fueled unease about the global growth outlook.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany's DAX was down 0.6 percent at 9,415.26 and Paris's CAC-40 lost 0.5 percent to 4,091.64. London's FTSE 100 was off 0.7 percent at 6,370.10. U.S. crude oil futures slipped below $50 a barrel. Wall Street looked set for more declines. Dow futures were down 0.1 percent at 17,430 and S&P 500 futures shed 0.1 percent to 2,013.10.
OIL SLUMP: The prolonged slide in oil prices should help economic growth by reducing energy costs but the depth of the downturn has fueled concern it might foretell a global slowdown. Also, as the price of oil falls, energy companies might cut jobs, put off investment or go out of business. On Monday, Transocean, a company that provides offshore drilling services to oil companies, was one of Wall Street's biggest decliners, losing 7.1 percent.
EURO JITTERS: The possibility that Greece's anti-austerity Syriza party might win national elections this month has fed doubts about whether the country will stick to terms of its bailout and remain in the euro bloc. Germany has warned against reneging on bailout terms. The euro already was under pressure from concern about the region's growth outlook and expectations the European Central Bank will expand monetary stimulus.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The unwind in equities has continued with markets mostly risk-off on flaring oil and Greece concerns. As oil prices venture to levels not seen in over five years, the energy space is predictably the hardest hit," said IG market strategist Stan Shamu in a report. "Being a net importer of oil, the Eurozone should have been a beneficiary of this drop in oil prices but things are a little complicated for the region at the moment."
ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 3 percent to 16,883.19 and Seoul's Kospi shed 1.7 percent to 1,882.45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1 percent to 23,485.41. The Shanghai Composite Index was barely changed at 3,351.45. India's Sensex was off 2.7 percent at 27,102.70. Benchmarks in Taipei, Singapore, Sydney and New Zealand also declined.
CURRENCIES: The euro edged up to $1.1941 after falling Monday to a nine-year low of $1.1862. The dollar declined to 118.79 yen from the previous session's 119.44 yen.
ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude dropped 72 cents to $49.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract briefly dipped below $50 before closing down $2.65 at $50.04 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 81 cents to $52.27 a barrel. It plunged $3.31 on Monday to close at $53.11.