Tokyo, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — Global stocks slipped Monday as investor worries continued about global trade tensions and prospects for economic growth.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent in early trading to 5,079.25, while Britain's FTSE 100 was down less than 0.1 percent at 6,995.44. U.S. shares were also set to drift lower, with Dow futures losing 0.5 percent to 25,182. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.6 percent to 2,753.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.9 percent to finish at 22,271.30, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 1 percent to 5,837.10. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.8 percent to 2,145.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.5 percent to 25,411.64, while the Shanghai Composite shed 1.5 percent to 2,568.10.
TRADE WORRIES: Investors are growing worried that U.S.-China trade tensions are impairing global economic growth. The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global economic growth last week because of trade tensions and rising interest rates.
THE QUOTE: "The repercussions of trade tensions that had plagued global equity markets persist," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
CHINA MEETING: News that Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump may meet has sparked hope that tensions in the trade war between the world's two largest economies might ease. But worries about the increased tariffs the two sides have imposed on each other's goods, a move that tends to dampen growth, are contributing to volatility in financial markets.
SOFTBANK SLIDE: Shares in SoftBank skidded more than 7 percent. The Japanese technology company's brand is getting slammed because of its link with a major investment fund centered around Saudi government financing called the Vision Fund. The kingdom may be involved in the disappearance and suspected murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post. The kingdom has poured $100 billion into the firm's tech investing and has suggested it may put another $45 billion into it.
ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude gained 19 cents to $71.53. It added 0.5 percent to $71.34 a barrel in New York on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 40 cents to $80.83.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.81 yen from 112.33 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.1570 from $1.1602.
Tokyo, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — Asian stocks slipped Monday, as investor worries continued about global trade tensions and prospects for economic growth.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.2 percent to 22,426.32, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 1.1 percent in early trading to 5,832.00. South Korea's Kospi inched down 0.2 percent to 2,156.56. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell nearly 1.0 percent to 25,553.41, while the Shanghai Composite edged down 0.4 percent to 2,597.15.
WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 38.76 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,767.13 to end a six-day losing streak last week. The benchmark index tumbled 4.1 percent during the week, and it's down 5.6 percent since from its latest record high, set Sept. 20. The Nasdaq composite jumped 167.83 points, or 2.3 percent, to 7,496.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain of 287.16 points, or 1.1 percent, at 25,339.99.
TRADE WORRIES: Investors are growing worried that U.S.-China trade tensions are impairing global economic growth. The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global economic growth last week because of trade tensions and increased interest rates.
THE QUOTE: "The repercussions of trade tensions that had plagued global equity markets persist," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
CHINA MEETING: News that Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump may meet have set off some hope that tensions in the trade war between the world's two largest economies might ease. But worries about the increased tariffs the two sides have imposed on each other's goods, a move that tends to dampen growth, are contributing to volatility in financial markets.
ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude gained 79 cents to $72.13. It added 0.5 percent to $71.34 a barrel in New York Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 98 cents to $81.41.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 112.14 yen from 112.33 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.1553 from $1.1602.
Istanbul, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump says "we would be punishing ourselves" by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump says the sale is a "tremendous order for our companies." He says if the kingdom doesn't buy its weaponry from the United States, they will buy it from Russia.
Trump also said on Saturday that he would meet with Khashoggi's family. But he says he has not discussed Khashoggi with Saudi King Salman as he said Friday he would do.
Khashoggi, a fierce critic of the Saudi ruling family, disappeared more than a week ago after he was last seen on video entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Published reports based on anonymous sources say he was killed by the Saudis.
Saudi has said the claim is "baseless."
Turkey's top diplomat has reiterated a call to Saudi Arabia to allow Turkish authorities to enter the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul for an investigation on missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia had not yet cooperated with Turkey on the search for Khashoggi.
He says that Turkish "prosecutors and technical friends must enter" the consulate "and Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us on this."
His comments come days after Saudi Arabia said it would open its consulate for a search but that is yet to happen. The journalist was last seen there on Oct. 2.
Cavusoglu said Turkey would share information with Saudi Arabia in a "joint working group" but stressed the Turkish investigation would continue separately.
President Donald Trump says Saudi leaders, as of now, "deny it every way you can imagine" allegations that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by the kingdom.
But, he has told CBS' "60 Minutes," ''Could it be them? Yes."
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and critic of the Saudi government, went missing more than a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Trump, who's attacked the press as the "enemy of the people," says "there's a lot of stake, and maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. ... You'll be surprised to hear me say that."
He says "we're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment."
Trump isn't saying what that could be, but says he doesn't want to cut off American military sales to Saudi Arabia.
He says "there are other ways of punishing."
A pro-government Turkish newspaper is reporting that Turkish officials have an audio recording of the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Sabah newspaper, through which Turkish security officials have leaked much information about the case, reported Saturday that Khashoggi's Apple Watch recorded his alleged slaying at the hands of Saudi officials.
The newspaper said authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account. The journalist had given his phones to his fiancée before entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Turkish officials have not answered queries from The Associated Press about Khashoggi's Apple Watch.
Meanwhile, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud said Saturday that "what has been circulating about orders to kill (Khashoggi) are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the kingdom."
President Donald Trump has declared the U.S. will uncover the truth about what happened to journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, whose possible murder at Saudi hands after disappearing in Istanbul has captured worldwide attention.
Trump promised Friday to personally call Saudi Arabia's King Salman soon about "the terrible situation in Turkey."
Khashoggi, a forceful critic of the Saudi government, went missing more than a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials have said they believe he was murdered there. U.S. officials say they are seeking answers from the Saudi government and are not yet accepting the Turkish government's conclusions.
The Saudis have called accusations that they are responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance "baseless."
Nusa Dua, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — Global financial leaders wrapped up an annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Saturday by urging countries to brace for potential risks from trade disputes and other tensions.
The meetings in Bali, Indonesia, this week were overshadowed by a spate of financial market turmoil and by the threat to global growth from the trade clash between the U.S. and China over Beijing's technology policies.
The International Monetary and Financial Committee, which advises the IMF's board of governors, issued a communique on Saturday urging countries to keep debt under control, engineer policies to ensure credit is available in line with their levels of inflation and ensure sustained economic growth "for the benefit of all."
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that while global growth is still strong, it has leveled off. The IMF started the meetings in Bali by downgrading its 2018 estimate for global growth to a still robust 3.7 percent from an earlier forecast of 3.9 percent.
"I think it's not inconsistent to have a plateaued growth and downside risks that are the clouds on the horizon, some of which have begun to open up," Lagard said. Adding that given the level of debt around the world, "we've given strong recommendations and in terms of trade: de-escalate and please dialogue."
Countries should seek to ensure their levels of debt are manageable and that policies foster growth for all, she said. "Sail together and we will be stronger. Focus on your policies. Don't drift and let's cooperate as much as we can because we will be better off together."
China's central bank governor, Yi Gang, joined the chorus of consternation over the trade standoff, which has resulted in Washington imposing penalty tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of imports of Chinese products and Beijing responding in kind. Protectionism and trade tensions are "major risks" for the world economy, he told fellow financial leaders.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin downplayed the level of alarm. He said he doesn't lose sleep over the possibility that China might step up its sales of U.S. treasuries in retaliation for pressure from Washington to alter national economic strategies aimed at nurturing Chinese leaders in many advanced technologies.
Mnuchin said it was still not certain if President Donald Trump would meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit late next month in Buenos Aires. Reports that such a meeting was likely raised hopes for progress on the impasse between the world's two largest economies, stilling disquiet on financial markets Friday.
"I don't think any decision has been made in regards to a meeting," he said, saying he favored one. "The president will decide."
It's unclear if the two sides can make enough progress before then given the limited room for maneuvering. Apart from chronic U.S. trade deficits, the policies Washington objects to are central to Beijing's strategy for guiding the economy for decades to come.
Stepping up Chinese imports of U.S. goods and commodities such as liquefied natural gas won't cut it, Mnuchin said.
It's "about structural issues," he acknowledged. "This is not about buying more soybeans and buying more LNG," he said.
"There have to be meaningful commitments to create a rebalanced trading relationship," he said.
New York, Oct 12 (AP/UNB) — U.S. stocks sank more than 2 percent Thursday, the second day of steep declines around the globe driven by concerns about rising interest rates and trade tensions that could slow economic growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 545 points after dropping 831 points Wednesday. The two-day loss of 5.3 percent is the biggest for Dow since February. The S&P 500 is also down more than 5 percent over the two days and after falling for the past six trading days is almost 7 percent below its Sept. 20 high.
The recent turbulence in financial markets is a contrast to what investors have grown accustomed to in a bull market that has lasted more than 10 years, the longest in history. A hallmark of the past decade has been ultra-low interest rates, which the Federal Reserve used to promote growth in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
The Fed has been gradually raising interest rates over the past two years, after not having increased them since the recession. Those higher rates have been the catalyst for recent selling, stoking concerns that slower growth would impinge on corporate profits.
The selling Thursday was widespread. Energy companies sank along with oil prices and CVS lead a rout in health care stocks. Technology companies and retailers, including longtime market favorites Apple, Alphabet and Amazon, extended their recent slide.
"There isn't much of a place to hide right now in the equity market," said Willie Delwiche, an investment strategist at Baird.
Seeking safety, investors bought gold and government bonds. That pushed bond prices up and their yields down, ending a surge in yields that had touched off the market's current decline. But investors found more things to worry about.
There are ongoing concerns about the unresolved trade dispute between the U.S. and China, the world's second-biggest economy.
Strong earnings reports in the coming weeks could soothe investor nerves, but negative comments from company executives about future profits could have the opposite effect. Recently a larger-than-normal number of companies have warned that their third-quarter results could be weaker than analysts expected.
The benchmark S&P 500 index rose in morning trading, but ultimately gave up 57.31 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,728.37, its lowest close in three months. The index has declined 6.7 percent during its current losing streak. That's its steepest downturn since a 10-percent drop in early February.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 545.91 points, or 2.1 percent, to 25,052.83 after falling as much as 698. The Nasdaq composite skidded 92.99 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,329.06. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 30.03 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,545.38.
Thursday's losses in the U.S. followed steep declines overseas. Markets in France, Britain and Germany fell after stocks declined sharply in Hong Kong and Japan.
"People are trying to get a sense of 'where should my money actually be right now?'" said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist for TD Ameritrade.
The S&P 500's current decline is the longest since a nine-day skid shortly before the 2016 presidential election. It has climbed 27.5 percent since Donald Trump was elected and is still up 2.1 percent in 2018.
The market had been calm from late June through September as investors were satisfied with continued economic growth, strong company profits, and signs of progress in trade talks between the U.S. and several partners, even as the U.S. remained at odds with China.
But traders have grown more uneasy about the U.S.-China trade dispute, which has been escalating. Washington has imposed tariffs on tens of millions of dollars of Chinese exports and Beijing has responded with similar retaliatory taxes on imports of U.S. goods.
And there are indications that China's economy has begun to cool, prompting its government to take steps to stem the slowdown in economic growth. China's stock market is in a steep slump, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index down more than 15 percent this year.
Delwiche, the Baird strategist, thinks the current U.S. market slump isn't over yet.
"I don't see evidence right now that this is a one-off event," he said.
On Thursday, President Trump renewed his criticism of the Federal Reserve, blaming the recent downturn in the stock market on the Fed's rate policy.
"We have interest rates going up at a clip that's much faster than certainly a lot of people, including myself, would have anticipated. I think the Fed is out of control," the president said to reporters in the Oval Office.
Trump said he had no intention of firing Jerome Powell, who he appointed as Fed chairman in February.
Bond prices rose as the recent surge in yields attracted the attention of some investors. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.15 percent from 3.22 percent late Wednesday. That's still sharply higher than it was about a week ago, and earlier this week the yield on the 10-year note reached its highest level since mid-2011.
The drop in yields hurt banks, and JPMorgan Chase fell 3 percent to $1078.13 while Bank of America sank 3 percent to $28.36. JPMorgan Chase and several other banks will report their third-quarter results Friday morning.
Technology and retail companies continued to stumble. Amazon dropped another 2 percent to $1,719.36 and Apple fell 0.9 percent to $214.45. Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent company, were little changed. Those stocks have made huge gains for years, but they're currently out of favor. Amazon and Alphabet, respectively the second- and fourth-most valuable U.S. companies, are in what's known as a "correction," a drop of more than 10 percent from a recent peak. Facebook, the sixth-largest company, has tumbled 29 percent since late July, surpassing the 20-percent threshold for a "bear market."
The Nasdaq composite has fallen 9.6 percent since it set a record high in late August and the Russell 2000 has fallen 11 percent.
U.S. crude dropped 3 percent while Brent crude, the international standard, dropped 3.4 percent. Wholesale gasoline, heating oil and natural gas also declined.
After months of declines, the price of gold jumped by the most in two years, rising 2.9 percent to $1,227.60 an ounce.
In other metals trading, silver rose 2 percent and copper added 0.8 percent.
The dollar fell to 111.94 yen from 112.59 yen, and the euro rose to $1.1594 from $1.1525.