USA stocks slumped after the open on Wednesday, with the Dow headed for a more than 150-point drop, as investors found little to cheer in the Federal Reserve’s latest thoughts or in fresh Chinese economic reports.
Robertson added that the exploding battery issue “can only be a long-term threat if the company doesn’t take the correct steps to restore its brand”.
“Sluggish external demand will continue to weigh on China’s trade outlook, given downside risks stemming from the USA election to the UK’s execution of the Brexit process”.
In US dollar terms, exports crashed 10 per cent against a consensus forecast of a 3 per cent decline, while imports shrank 1.9 per cent when they had been expected to rise.
Bangkok was down 0.8 percent in the morning, extending a sharp sell-off this week on worries about the gravely ill King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is considered a stabilising influence on the troubled nation. “Clearly Unilever won’t be the only company wanting to pass on a 10 per cent or similar price increase due to the fall in the pound”, Rabobank’s Foley added.
Bank shares in Europe also declined, with the broader Euro Stoxx Banks index down 2.8%. That was a much bigger drop than in August and also a larger decline than analysts expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 45.26 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,098.94.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.74 percent.
Export order readings in both the National Bureau of Statistics and the Caixin PMIs for September are just slightly above 50, pointing to a modest recovery in external demand.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September meeting confirmed late Wednesday that officials expected to raise rates “relatively soon”, with several members viewing the decision to leave rates unchanged in September as a “close call”.
Gold miners bucked the trend, with Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining gaining more than 4 percent each.
Oil prices plummeted Thursday after OPEC announced its production in September had increased to the highest level in 8 years, and after reports of a surge in USA crude stockpiles. In the first eight month of the year, 20 countries or regions launched 85 trade investigations against Chinese products, a 49% increase over year-earlier levels, led by the US and India, the ministry said. The king had reigned for 70 years, which made him the longest serving head of state in the world. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 percent to 16,774.24, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.9 percent to 2,015.44. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 18 cents to $50.36 per barrel in NY. Brent crude, the Global standard, rose 22 cents to $52.03 a barrel in London.
Foreign investors sold 108 million ringgit ($25.7 million) in Malaysian shares on Wednesday, according to Kenanga Research. Both figures were worse than expected, with exports expected to fall 3.3% and imports predicted to rise 0.6%, in USA dollar terms.
The euro was choppy too, dropping under $1.10 for the first time in nearly three months at one point after Reuters reported the European Central Bank was considering a number of changes to its 1.5 trillion euro stimulus programme.