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Global Stocks: Indices decline on weak U.S. and Chinese data, Greece concerns further weigh
U.S. markets closed lower on Friday ending the month negative with a volatile session after the mostly weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data. The U.S. preliminary gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, missing expectations for a 3.3% gain, after a 5.0% rise in the third quarter. For 2014 as a whole, GDP expanded 2.4% compared to 2.2% in 2013.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index declined at an annual rate of 0.5% in the fourth quarter. That was the weakest reading since the first quarter of 2009.The Chicago purchasing managers' index increased from 59.4 in January to 58.8 in December, exceeding expectations for a fall to 58.1. December's figure was revised up from 58.3.The final University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index was 98.1 in January, in line with expectations, down from the preliminary estimate of 98.2.
The DOW JONES index lost -1.45%, closing at 17,164.95 points. The S&P 500 shed -1.30% with a final quote of 1,994.99 points. The S&P declined by 3.1% in January, the biggest loss since January 2014.
Chinese stock markets traded lower on Monday as data showed a weaker-than-expected Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI coming in at 49.7 in January compared to a previous reading of 49.8 with a forecast of 49.8. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading -0.32% at 24,428.03 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,129.00 points -2.53%.
Japan's Nikkei posted losses on Monday, closing -0.66% with a final quote of 17,558.04. Disappointing economic data from the U.S. and China raised concerns on global growth. Uncertainty over the fate of Greece in the Eurozone further added to risk aversion. A stronger Japanese Yen weighed on exporter shares. A rally in oil prices had a negative effect on airlines and the energy sector.
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