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Wall Street falls on global growth worries

Stocks on Wall Street were down for a third day on weak economic signals from the eurozone and fresh concerns from China about slowing global growth.

The eurozone’s preliminary composite purchasing managers' index fell to a three-month low of 48.7 in March, from 49.3 in February, compared with expectations of a slight increase.

A preliminary reading of HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China fell to a four-month low.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 78.48 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 13,046.14.

The S&P 500 index shed 0.7% to 1392.78. with FedEx falling 3.5% after delivering a disappointing earnings outlook and cutting its economic growth forecast.

The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4% to 3063.32.

European markets were in broad decline, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 1.2% at 265.49.

The UK's FTSE 100 index fell 0.8% to 5845.65, Germany's DAX closed down 1.3% at 6981.26, and France's CAC-40 index slid 1.6% at 3472.46.

In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite eased 0.1% to 2375.77 and Korea's Kospi shed 0.1% to 2026.12.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index snapped a four-session losing streak to gain 0.2% to 20901.56.

India's Sensex index slid 2.3% to 17196.47, its lowest close in more than two weeks.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average firmed 0.4% to 10,127.08, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.5% to 4273.70.

Crude-oil futures dropped 2.4% to $US104.68 a barrel, while gold futures declined 0.8% to $US1637 an ounce.

The US dollar lost ground versus the yen but strengthened against the euro.

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