By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets and commodities slumped on Monday, pulled lower by worry over the economic health of China and other big emerging markets in a week filled with key economic data.
An 8.8 percent drop in Chinese industrial firms' profits and a plunge of nearly 30 percent in miner Glencore's (GLEN.L) London-traded shares sparked the latest round of worry, sending copper (CMCU3) back below $5,000 a tonne.
Market participants have been cautious ahead of a week of key economic data, including euro zone inflation on Wednesday, Chinese industrial and service sector PMIs on Thursday and U.S. jobs figures on Friday.
In addition, a raft of U.S. Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak, including Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday.
New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley added to expectations of an early rate increase, suggesting the central bank could pull the trigger as soon as in October. [
"Regardless of what the Fed does, we’re being set up for more volatility in the fourth quarter," said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management LLC in New York.
"You have increasing fears about a global slowdown and the economic reports out of China have only increased those fears."
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) fell 312.78 points, or 1.92 percent, to 16,001.89, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 49.57 points, or 2.57 percent, to 1,881.77 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 142.53 points, or 3.04 percent, to 4,543.97.
The S&P 500's fall was its biggest daily percentage drop since Sept. 1.
Along with data that may shed more light on China's economic health, Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls release will be watched for clues on whether rates might rise this year.
The Fed recently delayed a widely anticipated rate hike on concerns over sluggish Chinese growth and market volatility.
Data on Monday showed U.S. consumer spending grew briskly in August and a key measure of inflation firmed a bit, signs of strength in America's domestic economy that could lead the Federal Reserve to tighten policy despite weakness abroad.
The flash reading of annual euro zone inflation is due on Wednesday, with a Reuters poll forecasting a zero reading in September. A slip into negative territory would fuel speculation about more European Central Bank stimulus, six months after the central bank began a massive asset-purchase program.
The FTSEuroFirst (.FTEU3) index of 300 leading European shares closed down 2.2 percent. MSCI's all-country world index <.MIWD00000PUS> dropped 2.1 percent after hitting its lowest level since October 2013.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury note
Commodities markets were also pressured, and U.S. crude oil futures (CLc1) settled down 2.8 percent to $44.43 a barrel while Brent crude (LCOc1) settled off 2.6 percent to $47.34 a barrel as worries about the global economy outweighed an increase in U.S. investors' crude holdings.
Emerging markets remained a key pressure point due to fears that U.S. interest rates could soon start heading higher even as global growth is tepid and commodities markets battered. MSCI's emerging market index (.MSCIEF) fell 1.3 percent.
(Additional reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Bernadette Baum)