Emerging-market stocks fell for a third day, sending the benchmark gauge to a two-year low, amid concern Europe’s debt crisis will worsen.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slid 2.8 percent to 828.39 at 11:39 a.m. in New York, the lowest on a closing basis since September 2009. Russia’s Micex Index tumbled 5.7 percent, as all 30 stocks in the gauge dropped. Benchmarks in Brazil and Mexico each declied at least 1.5 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 3.6 percent in Hong Kong. South Korea’s Kospi Index sank 3.6 percent after markets were closed yesterday for a holiday.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has opposed moves to further scale up the euro rescue fund, damping speculation of a breakthrough in quelling the debt crisis. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its global growth forecast for this year and next, predicting recessions in Germany and France as the European economy stalls and the risk of a contraction in the U.S. grows.
“Investors are getting worried that the festering debt crisis in Europe is already infecting the global economy,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Manila-based Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. “The risk has increased that a U.S. slowdown and a deepening European debt crisis could take place simultaneously.”
Russian stocks followed oil and metal prices lower on concern the European debt crisis will erode demand for commodities, the country’s chief export. Coal producer OAO Raspadskaya tumbled 13 percent, the biggest drop on the Micex. OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, fell 8.5 percent.
MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA and OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the mining and oil companies controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, led the Bovespa’s declines.
U.S. factory orders declined 0.2 percent in August, after a 2.4 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast a zero growth. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank stands ready to take additional steps to boost U.S. growth and cautioned lawmakers against budget moves that would harm a “sluggish” recovery.
Brazil’s real strengthened 0.5 percent versus the dollar. The Polish zloty gained 1 percent, the best performance among the 25 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The Chilean peso and Indonesian rupiah each fell more than 1 percent against. Russia’s ruble and India’s rupee weakened 0.5 percent.
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining group, slid 1.4 percent. Anglo American Plc, the mining company that makes up about 9 percent of FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index in Johannesburg, fell 2.3 percent. South African miners, builders and electricity industry workers started a protest over safety standards, halting mines throughout the country, where more than a 100 mineworkers have died so far this year.
Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest automaker, fell 2.8 percent and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. lost 3.8 percent in Seoul as the companies’ combined U.S. sales rose 14 percent in September from a year ago, below the 20 percent gain that was the average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The extra yield investors demand to own emerging-market debt over U.S. Treasuries rose five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 486, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index.
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