Madrid, March 16 (IANS) The Spanish stock market index Ibex-35 fell 1.69 percent to close at 8,988.30 points, down from the 9,142.70 points of the previous session.
Banco Popular shares led falls losing 4.82 percent, followed by Banco Santander, Sacyr, Caixabank and BBVA that lost 4.43 percent, 4.34 percent, 3.27 percent and 2.96 percent respectively on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Merlin shares led rises climbing 0.98 percent, followed by AENA, Indra A, Gamesa, and Endesa that rose 0.83 percent, 0.69 percent, 0.65 percent and 0.41 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, Spain’s risk premium closed at 120.60 points, which was slightly above the 119.1 points of Monday.
US stocks end mixed ahead of Fed statement
US stocks closed mixed as investors digested the newly-released economic data while awaiting Wednesday’s US Federal Reserve policy announcement.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 22.40 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,251.53 on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The S&P 500 fell 3.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,015.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 21.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,728.67.
The Fed started its highly-anticipated policy meeting on Tuesday and is due to hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Most analysts believed the US central bank would not raise its interest rates at this meeting.
The advance estimates of US retail and food services sales for February decreased 0.1 percent from the previous month to $447. 3 billion, generally in line with market expectations, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
“The big economics story in February was the rebound of retail sales and consumption in January. Today, we learned it was all a mistake. A massive downward revision to January sales suggests weak consumption didn’t end at the turn of the year after all,” said Chris low, chief economist at FTN Financial.
Canadian stocks fall
Canada’s main stock market in Toronto fell elusive as weaker commodity prices weighed on energy and mining stocks, while shares of a major drug maker tanked.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 77.23 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 13,400.31 points on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Six of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors ended lower.
Health care sector was rattled by 11.69 percent, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. plunged 50.71 percent to 45.14 Canadian dollars after it cut its 2016 revenue forecast by about 12 percent and said a delay in filing its annual report could pose a debt default risk.
GeneNews Limited was down 17.30 percent as well to 0.095 Canadian dollar as the Markham, Ontario-based molecular diagnostics company, announced Monday that it intends to sell up to 5 million Canadian dollars ($3.8 million) in common stock through an unbrokered private placement.
The Canadian dollar was traded lower at $0.7484, compared with Monday’s closing rate of $0.7537.
Tokyo stocks open down
Tokyo stocks opened down on Wednesday as investors were in a circumspect mood as the yen rose ahead of the results of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
As of 9.15 a.m. (local time), the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 142.38 points, or 0.83 percent, from Tuesday to 16,974.69, Xinhua news agency reported.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 7.88 points, or 0.57 percent, to 1,364.20.
Early notable decliners comprised iron and steel, marine transportation, and machinery-linked stocks.
Chinese yuan weakens
The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened 93 basis points to 6.5172 against the US dollar on Wednesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.
In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day, Xinhua news agency reported.
The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.
Chinese shares open mixed
Chinese stocks opened mixed on Wednesday with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.2 percent, at 2,858.71 points.
The smaller Shenzhen index opened 0.58 percent higher at 9,629.82 points, Xinhua news agency reported.
The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, rose 1.65 percent to open at 2,029.92 points.
Australian stocks slide on oil, commodities
Australian shares dipped lower at the opening on Wednesday as falls in oil and key commodities overnight weighed on energy and resources stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 16.9 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 5,094.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 15.4 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 5,253.2, Xinhua news agency reported.
Aussie stocks are in stuck in a wide, horizontal range trade with relatively low aggregated capital growth given Tuesday’s near 1.5 percent tumble, that was stronger than the futures market and leading indicators had predicted, IG market strategist Evan Lucas said.
“It’s not that unsurprising considering last week the ASX was one of the best performing indices in Asia, and the world for that matter,” escaping the mid-week selling due to the industrial commodities bounce, Lucas said.
However, there will be pain ahead for traders on Wednesday as there is no justification to see the ASX take a leg higher before an “interesting” press conference from the US Federal Reserve in tonight’s offshore trade.