Shopping drop pulls American stocks down

Stocks on Wall Street fell for the seventh time in eight sessions after US retail sales unexpectedly fell.

Global economic gloom remained with China's premier warning that a rebound in the country's economic growth hasn't yet taken hold. The IMF also downgraded its growth outlook for the world economy.

US retail sales fell for the third straight month in June. But an index on manufacturing activity in New York rose more than expected this month.

Business inventories also rose more than expected in May.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed (8am NZ time) 49.88 points, or 0.4%, down at 12,727.21. It snapped a six-session losing streak on Friday with a 204-point rally.

The S&P 500 index was down 0.2% at 1353.64 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.4% to 2896.94.

Citigroup edged up 0.9% after reporting better-than-expected earnings.

Other markets: Europe, Asia mixed
European markets were mixed. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% to 256.73.

The UK's FTSE 100 closed down 0.1% at 5662.43, Germany's DAX closed 0.1% higher at 6565.72 and France's CAC-40 slipped less than 0.1% to 3179.90.

Asian markets were highlighted by the 1.7% drop in China's benchmark to a 3½-year low after Premier Wen Jiabao warned that a recovery in the country's economic growth isn't yet stable.

The Shanghai Composite finished 1.7% lower at 2147.96, its lowest level since March 2009, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day up 0.2% at 19,121.34,

Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.6%, buoyed by rising commodity prices.

Korea's Kospi finished 0.3% higher at 1817.79, while Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Commodities: Oil up, gold down
Oil prices rose 1.5% in anticipation of the US Federal Reserve taking action to stimulate the economy.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose $US1.33 to settle at $US88.43 a barrel in New York.

Gold futures ended slightly lower. Gold for August delivery lost 40USc, less than 0.1%, to end at $US1591.60 an ounce in New York.

Currencies: US dollar pressured
The US dollar was under pressure after the retail sales report.

The euro was at $US1.2256 from $US1.2248 late on Friday.

The dollar traded at ¥78.82 compared with ¥79.20, while the euro was at ¥96.608 from ¥96.98.

The UK pound was at $US1.5624 from $US1.5574, while the dollar bought 0.9799 Swiss franc from 0.9805 franc.

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NZ Market Snapshot


Sym Price Change
USD 0.7740 -0.0003 -0.04%
AUD 0.9511 0.0005 0.05%
EUR 0.6324 -0.0002 -0.03%
GBP 0.4954 0.0001 0.02%
HKD 6.0039 0.0001 0.00%
JPY 92.5100 -0.0050 -0.01%


Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1195.4 -2.890 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Brent 61.4 2.110 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Nymex 57.1 2.740 2014-12-19T00:
Silver Index 16.0 0.090 2014-12-19T00:


Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5518.5 5545.0 5518.5 0.17%
NASDAQ 4752.6 4782.1 4748.4 0.36%
DAX 9901.3 9901.3 9811.1 -0.25%
DJI 17778.0 17874.0 17778.2 0.15%
FTSE 6466.0 6566.9 6466.0 1.23%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.25%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%