MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe dropped 0.13 per cent
World stocks snapped a five-day rally on Thursday as investors took a break, while oil prices plunged around $4 per barrel to a four-month low, on indications of higher U.S. supply and lacklustre Chinese demand.
By the end of the session, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe dropped 0.13 per cent, and shares on Wall Street experienced modest gains or losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.13 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.12 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite was barely changed.
The mood on Wall Street was not helped by a slump in the shares of Cisco Systems and Walmart after underwhelming forecasts for demand.
Some analysts thought that equity markets were not likely to lurch steeply lower for now, in spite of recent steep gains, as investors cheer the prospect that U.S. interest rates might have peaked.
Upside risks to inflation and downside risk to growth mean the risk-positive data flow is not likely to last through 2024, but it is not clear there will be enough data to refute the happy, if probably unsustainable, narrative before the end of the year, Citi analysts said.
That said, oil prices plunged to levels last seen on July 7, with U.S. crude slipping 4.9 per cent to $72.89 per barrel and Brent was at $77.46, down 4.6 per cent on the day.
Oil prices are sliding in part because U.S. crude stocks increased 3.6 million barrels last week to 421.9 million barrels, government data showed on Wednesday.
In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index shed 0.72 per cent from a one-month high.
The U.S. dollar slid after data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits reached a three-month high last week, pointing to a slowing labour market that could help the Fed’s fight against inflation.
The dollar index reduced earlier losses and was flat, while the euro was also little changed at $1.08485.
Dollar weakness benefited gold prices, which climbed 1.2 per cent to $1,980.42 per ounce.