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World stocks slip after US spending report

June 26, 2014

LONDON (AP) — European and U.S. stock markets slipped on Thursday after a report showed that consumer spending was weak in May in the U.S., the world’s largest economy.

Consumer spending, which accounts for the bulk of U.S. economic activity, rose just 0.2 percent after no gain in April. That suggests the recovery from a poor first quarter will likely not be very strong, analyst said.

The impact was tempered by a separate report that showed the number of people in the U.S. seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week, a sign the labor market is still strengthening.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.5 percent to close at 4,439.63 while Germany’s DAX shed 0.6 percent to 9,804.90. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies ended the day little changed at 6,735.12.

Financial stocks were under some pressure, particularly Barclays, after news it is being sued by the New York attorney general for allegedly misleading large institutional investors in some trades. Barclays shares closed down 6.2 percent.

In the U.S., the Dow was down 0.4 percent at 16,798.73 while the broader S&P 500 slipped 0.4 percent to 1,951.89.

Earlier, Asian stocks fared better, carrying on momentum from the previous day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent to close at 15,308.49 while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7 percent to 1,995.05.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.5 percent to 23,197.83 while the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China gained 0.7 percent to 2,036.68.

In energy trading, the price of U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery fell $1.21 to $105.29 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 47 cents on Wednesday.

In currencies, the dollar slipped to 101.56 Japanese yen from 101.81 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.3615 from $1.3627.

Update hourly