Daniel Hauck and Lynn Thomasson
Monday, August 17, 2009
Stocks fell around the world, led by China, while the yen and dollar advanced and Treasuries rose as investors speculated that a rally in riskier assets has outpaced prospects for economic growth.
The MSCI World Index of 23 developed nations sank 2.6 percent at 10:32 a.m. in New York, the biggest retreat in eight weeks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 2.1 percent after China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped 5.8 percent, the most since November. The yen strengthened against all 16 of the most- traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg, while the dollar advanced against every one except the yen. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped to its lowest level in almost a month. Copper and oil declined for a second day.
“The stock-market reaction overseas has woken people up to the fact that it’s not going to be a straight line up,” said Myles Zyblock, chief institutional strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. “People are starting to question the strength of the recovery.”
Equities tumbled after foreign direct investment in China fell, Yunnan Copper Industry Co. said there were “no clear signs” of a recovery and Japan’s economy grew less than economists estimated, reigniting concern that a five-month, 52 percent rally in the MSCI World was overdone. The tally of failed U.S. banks this year climbed to 77 last week, while the Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment in America showed an unexpected decrease.