Global stocks slip on worries about economic growth, Europe
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks on major world markets fell on Monday as investors fretted about disappointing economic data in Asia, while EU finance ministers met again to grapple with the euro zone's debt crisis.
Wall Street stocks ended the day modestly lower as investors were also bracing for the start of the corporate earnings reporting season for the second quarter, with Alcoa (AA.N: Quote) reporting results late Monday.
Weaker-than-expected Chinese inflation data and a record fall in Japan's machinery goods orders added on to last Friday's dismal U.S. jobs report and raised concerns the global economy is hitting a soft patch.
Doubts that a meeting of euro zone finance chiefs will result in much progress further dented sentiment, while yields on benchmark Spanish and Italian bonds were moving up to levels considered unsustainable.
Diplomats said on Monday that Europe will grant Spain an extra year to reach its deficit targets after it outlines further budget savings to a finance ministers meeting in Brussels.
"While reasons for optimism seem to be few and far between these days, reasons for extreme pessimism are too," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab.
"Although structural issues in Europe are far from resolved, it appears that the threat of a near-term market meltdown has been somewhat alleviated for now."
Speculation policymakers will step in with further efforts to boost the economy helped to limit losses. Continued...