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15-Dec2018

US markets end in red on concerns about global economy

The US markets ended sharply lower on Friday, with losses of around two percent, after weaker-than-expected data in China and Europe exacerbated concerns of a global economic slowdown. Besides, retail sales growth numbers for November also missed expectations. This is the latest sign shown by China that its economy may be slowing down. The data also underscored the rising risks to China's economy as Beijing works to resolve an ongoing trade war with the US. Industrial production in China grew by 5.4% for November on a year-over-year basis, the slowest pace in almost three years. Moreover, a report showing growth in the eurozone private sector has decelerated to its slowest pace in more than four years in December added to the negative sentiment.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing slightly weaker than expected retail sales growth in November due to a steep drop in sales by gas stations, although underlying retail sales growth remained strong. The Commerce Department said retail sales edged up by 0.2% in November after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.1% in October. Street had expected retail sales to rise by 0.3% compared to the 0.8% increase originally reported for the previous month. Meanwhile, the report said closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, increased by 0.9% in November after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7% in October.

Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 496.87 points or 2.02 percent to 24,100.51, Nasdaq fell 159.67 points or 2.26 percent to 6,910.67 and S&P 500 was down by 50.59 points or 1.91 percent to 2,599.95.


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