US stocks stay low for straight day

December 15th, 2011 - 9:02 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Dec 15 (IANS) US stocks ended lower for the third straight day Wednesday amid euro zone concerns and data, Xinhua reported.

On economic front, the US labor department said that import prices rose 0.7 percent in November, the largest increase in seven months.

The increasing import prices added concerns about inflation. Some investors worried that the Federal Reserve will refrain from any new round of Quantitative easing policy given such circumstances.

Meanwhile, the euro zone situation still hovered in investors’ minds. The yields of Italy’s bond rose again and euro hit a 11-month low after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that she opposed raising the lending limit for the euro-zone bailout fund.

Moreover, the latest report showed German economic growth was expected to slow down significantly in the first half of next year, adding concerns that the possible recession in Europe would drag other parts of the world to a downward spiral.

As of Wednesday’s close, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 131.46 points, or 1.10 percent, to 11,823.48. The Standard & Poor’ s 500 dropped 13.91 points, or 1.13 percent, to 1,211.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 39.96 points, or 1.55 percent, to 2,539.31.

As for shares, commodity sector plunged Wednesday and so did material shares. Financial shares, however, seemed a little big strong Wednesday, dropping less than 1 percent.

Commodities also got a hard blow as euro weakened. Crude prices plummeted the most since September as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on a higher output ceiling and the euro fell to a 11-month low against the dollar.

In London, Brent crude for January delivery dropped sharply by $4.82, or 4.4 percent to close at $104.68 a barrel. The January contract will expire Thursday, the more actively traded February contract plunged $5.13 to $103.95 a barrel.

On foreign exchange market, the US dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading as the yield of Italian bonds surged to new euro-era high with the dollar index increasing 0.36 percent to 80.53.

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