Worries that China's once robust growth engine may be running out of gas put pressure on industrial and commodity-related stocks that are particularly sensitive to global economic dynamics.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, as quoted by Foxbusiness.com today, fell 68.9 points, or 0.52%, to 13170, the S&P 500 dipped 4.2 points, or 0.3%, to 1406 and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 4.2 points, or 0.14%, to 3074.
The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York fell $2.48, or 2.3%, to $105.61 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline slipped 0.14% to $3.363 a gallon.
In metals, gold tumbled $20.30, or 1.2%, to $1,647 a troy ounce. Copper, an industrial metal, slumped 2% to $3.83 a pound.
China was also forced to hike gasoline and diesel prices, which, unlike in the U.S., are centrally controlled. A gallon of 90-octane now costs a record $4.42 a gallon, the Wall Street Journal reported. As has been seen in many nations, this could take a toll on consumer confidence in the world's No. 2 economy.
On the U.S. front, permits to build new homes, which are seen as a forward-looking indicator, jumped 5.1% to a rate of 717,000 units, much better than the 690,000 economists expected. Permits are now at their highest level since October 2008. Housing starts fell 1.1% in February to a 698,000-unit rate, missing economists' estimates of a 700,000-unit rate.
While there have been some signs of recovery, the housing market has been one of the weakest sectors of the overall U.S. economy. Tight lending conditions, stubbornly high supply and still relatively weak demand have all played a role in slowing down the comeback in that realm.
Elsewhere, Treasuries advanced mildly on the heels of steep losses on Monday and last week. The yield on the 10-year note fell 0.033-percentage point to 2.352%.
How about Indonesia stock market today? Bisnis Indonesia provides recommendations:
Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) today may fluctuate with uptrend possibility. The support and resistance level is within 3,995-4,036. Top picks: INTP, SMGR, MDLN, ASRI, and INTA.
Watch a level of 4,022. If the level brakes, the decrease target is 3,983. The closest resistance level is 4,066. Several stocks such as INDF, INDY, ADRO, and LSIP should be monitored.
Minna Padi Investama:
The JCI today may move flat within the range area of 4,012-4,065. Several stocks to watch: MDLN, BMTR, and MEDC.
Today, the JCI may move mixed with uptrend possibility within the range of 3,977-4,072. Several stocks to monitor: INDF, BJBR, and ITMG.
Disclosure: No position at the stock mentioned above.
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