US stocks plunge

New York, Jan 21 (IANS) US stocks traded sharply lower as further decline in oil price rattled nervous investors.

By Wednesday noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 458.29 points, or 2.86 percent, to 15,557.73, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 sank 56.09 points, or 2.98 percent, to 1,825.24.

The Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 133.25 points, or 2.98 percent, to 4,343.70.

Oil prices continued to trade near multi-year lows on Wednesday, dragged down by a global supply glut.

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery slipped below $27 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Spanish stock market falls

The Spanish stock market index Ibex-35 fell 3.20 percent to close at 8,281.40 points, down from the 8,554.90 points of the previous session.

On Wednesday’s session, ArcelorMittal shares led falls losing 8.53 percent, followed by Repsol, Banco Santander, Caixabank, OHL and Acerinox that lost 5.61 percent, 4.82 percent, 4.81 percent, 4.77 percent, and 4.74 percent respectively, Xinhua news agency reported.

Banco Sabadell shares also fell, losing 0.76 percent, as well as FCC, Iberdrola, Indra A, Endesa and Grifols that lost 0.91 percent, 1.27 percent, 1.28 percent, 1.57 percent and 1.71 percent respectively.

Spain’s 10-year bond interest rate stood at 1.8 percent and Spain’s risk premium stood at 131.90 points, rising from the 115. 20 points of Tuesday.

Canadian stock retreats to 31-month low

 Canada’s main stock market in Toronto dipped to 31-month low amid falling international oil prices and a decision by its central bank to keep the key interest rate unchanged.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 159.13 points, or 1.33 percent, to close at 11,843.11 points on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

It is the index’s lowest levels since June 2013.

Seven of the TSX index’s eight main sectors lost ground, with financial stocks leading the decline with a 1.78 percent loss, responding negatively to Bank of Canada’s announcement to maintain the benchmark rate at current levels of 0.5 percent.

The TSX energy group took another nosedive Wednesday after US oil price plummeted below $27 a barrel as the market continued to be bewildered by a supple glut amid fears about the pace of global growth. The overall energy sector went down 1.30 percent.

The central bank cut its rate twice in 2015 in an attempt to stimulate the economy but did not seem to work well.

The Canadian dollar jumped about half a cent on the rate news, a sign that investors were worried about a rate cut, and priced it into the value of the currency.

By closing, the Canadian dollar was traded mildly higher at $0.6901, compared with Tuesday’s closing rate of $0.6869.

Chinese yuan weakens

The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened by 7 basis points to 6.5585 against the US dollar on Thursday, 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.

Tokyo shares open higher

Tokyo shares opened the trading on Thursday slightly higher following the US dollar’s advance against the Japanese yen as the latter’s retreat boosted export-oriented issues.

At 9.15 a.m. (local time), the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 72.26 points, or 0.44 percent, from Wednesday to 16,488, Xinhua news agency reported.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 3.84 points, or 0.29 percent, at 1,342. 81.

Chinese shares open lower

Chinese stocks opened lower on Thursday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 1.42 percent, at 2,934.39 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index opened 1.54 percent lower at 10,207.42 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, lost 1.42 percent to open at 2,173.32 points.

Sensex surges 225 points in early trade

A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), on Thursday was trading 224.96 points or 0.93 percent up during the morning session.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading 67.25 points or 0.92 percent up at 7,376.55 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 24,194.75 points, was trading at 24,287 points (at 9.20 a.m.) in the early session, up 224.96 points or 0.93 percent from the previous day’s close at 24,062.04 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 24,314.79 points and a low of 24,194.75 points in the trade so far.

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