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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Tech stocks rout contributes to US equities plunge as treasuries gain

Chip maker Skyworks tumbled after results signaled a slowdown in smartphone demand.

A monitor displays stock market information on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. US stocks slumped led by technology shares. Bloomberg
A monitor displays stock market information on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. US stocks slumped led by technology shares. Bloomberg

US stocks fell amid a fresh round of selling in technology shares sparked by weak earnings, while crude capped its longest losing streak ever on concern over a supply glut.

Large-cap tech names dragged the Nasdaq 100 to a loss of more than 1.5 per cent and trimmed a weekly advance for the S&P 500. Chip maker Skyworks plunged after results signaled a slowdown in smartphone demand. The benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude capped a 10th straight loss, sending small-cap energy shares tumbling more than 2.5 per cent. Walt Disney’s strong earnings minimised damage in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Mexican stocks erased a second day of losses after the nation’s president-elect said he won’t change any banking laws. The peso turned higher. Europe’s main equity gauge dropped after disappointing forecasts from Richemont and Thyssenkrupp. Treasury yields edged lower after the Federal Reserve on Thursday reiterated its plan for “further gradual” rate increases.

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Investors have their eyes open to any signs the economic cycle is peaking. While lower oil prices seem mostly driven by a surge in supply, not a drop in demand, there are more worrisome signs coming out of China. Data there show softer producer-price gains, weak car sales and a disappointing outlook from a top online travel company, helping to reignite lingering concerns about the health of the world’s second-biggest economy.

Asian financial shares performed particularly poorly following news that Beijing plans to set quotas for banks to pump credit into private companies. The offshore yuan held this week’s drop as there was little sign of an end to the US-China trade war in the wake of the midterm elections.

Elsewhere, the pound weakened amid ongoing speculation over a potential Brexit deal. Emerging-market stocks and currencies slid.

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.9 per cent. It rose 2.1 per cent in the week for a second straight advance. The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 1.7 per cent, while the Russell 2000 fell 1.6 per cent. European and Asian equity benchmarks also dipped. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.4 per cent, the Nikkei-225 Stock Average declined 1.1 per cent, while The MSCI Emerging Market Index sank 0.6 per cent.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined five basis points to 3.19 per cent. The two-year rate lost four basis points to 2.93 per cent.