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U.S. Stocks Slide as Treasury Rally Stokes Angst: Markets Wrap

Sarah Ponczek and Olivia Rinaldi
U.S. Stocks Slide as Treasury Rally Stokes Angst: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fell more than 1% as political unrest in Hong Kong and Argentina fueled a rally in global bonds that continues to raise the specter of a looming recession. Gold surged.

The S&P 500 Index slumped for a second day and now sits almost 5% below its all-time high as the rally in Treasuries sparked by last week’s escalating trade tensions picked up steam. Risk assets came under pressure after authorities closed Hong Kong’s airport and a Chinese official said the city was at a “critical juncture.” Argentina’s peso and equities sank after voters turned on the president in a primary vote. Corn futures plunged the most since 2013 as more of the grain was planted than analysts had estimated.

The weakness in stocks fed demand for haven assets, pushing the 10-year Treasury yield lower by 10 basis points and boosting the yen for a fourth day. China’s central bank fixing continued to signal its determination to manage an orderly depreciation. Italian bonds led gains in European debt after Fitch affirmed the country’s credit rating on Friday. The pound strengthened following three sessions of declines.

Monday’s sell-off in risk assets provided another reminder of the fragile mood across markets as it extended the tumultuous start to August. Gains for the safest government bonds show lingering caution by traders who’ve increased bets for central bank easing in recent weeks, as the U.S. and China escalate their trade war and a slew of global data point to slowing growth.

“It’s a day with very little news in terms of economic calendar and earnings and a week that’s going to have a lot of earnings that are very important. But it doesn’t look like there’s true sort of resiliency in the sell right now,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “The flight to bonds is really the more concerning element only because it flattens the yield curve.”

Here are some key events coming up:

Companies releasing results include China’s Tencent, JD.com and Alibaba, Cisco, Brazilian utility Eletrobras, the U.K.’s Prudential, Australia’s Telstra, giant retailer Walmart, Nvidia, Swisscom and the Danish brewer Carlsberg.The U.S. consumer price index, out Tuesday, probably picked up to a 1.7% annual pace in July, according to economist estimates. Core prices, which exclude food and energy, are seen rising 2.1%.Wednesday brings data on China retail sales, industrial production and the jobless rate.Thursday sees the release of U.S. jobless claims, industrial production and retail sales data.

These are the main moves in markets:


The S&P 500 Index fell 1.2% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.2%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased less than 0.05%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.4%.


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose less than 0.1%.The euro climbed 0.1% to $1.1211.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% to 105.33 per dollar.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 10 basis points to 1.65%.The two-year rate lost six basis points to 1.5857%.The spread of Italy’s 10-year bonds over Germany’s declined five basis points to 2.33 percentage points.Germany’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to -0.59%.


Gold futures rose 1% to $1,524 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.5% to $54.75 a barrel.Corn futures for December delivery fell by the limit of 25 cents to $3.9275 a bushel, down 6%.

--With assistance from Luke Kawa, Adam Haigh and Samuel Potter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Ponczek in New York at sponczek2@bloomberg.net;Olivia Rinaldi in New York at orinaldi1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Todd White

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