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Stocks, Commodities Fall on Obama, China; Emerging Markets Drop

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David Merritt
Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Equities and commodities declined for a third day on concern President Barack Obama’s plan to rein in banks will hurt earnings and growing speculation that China will raise interest rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.5 percent at 9:47 a.m. in New York, extending its slide over the past three days to 3.4 percent and wiping out its gain for 2010. In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Banks Index plunged as much as 4 percent to an almost six-month low. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 2.7 percent, heading for the biggest weekly loss since October. Oil, gold and aluminum fell at least 1 percent.

Obama’s proposal to ban proprietary trading at banks spurred concern that a recovery in S&P 500 earnings from a record nine-quarter slump will be threatened. China will raise interest rates by the end of June and increase banks’ reserve requirements, according to the median forecasts of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Authorities are certainly treading a fine line between curbing bubbles and choking off economic growth,” Jim Reid, the London-based head of fundamental strategy at Deutsche Bank AG, wrote in note to investors. “It’s clear that politicians are starting to have enough confidence that the global economy has been saved.”

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This article was posted: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

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