Dollar gains; Wall St. lower on home sales; oil off after data

Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:12pm EST
 
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose on Wednesday on expectations for stronger U.S. economic growth, while stocks fell broadly as home resales dropped sharply.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield declined, but worries in Europe about rescue plans for shaky Italian banks drove the spread between the benchmark and 10-year German Bund yields to the widest ever.

On Wall Street, shares fell across the board with the S&P 500 posting its largest daily drop since Oct. 11.

Data showed contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, a sign that rising interest rates could be weighing on the housing market.

"There was enough bad news during the day" to pull the market lower, said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at Cuttone & Co in New York referring to the housing data.

He said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's comments that Israel's building of settlements on occupied land was endangering Middle East peace made some traders nervous and exacerbated the decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 111.36 points, or 0.56 percent, to 19,833.68, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 18.96 points, or 0.84 percent, to 2,249.92 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 48.89 points, or 0.89 percent, to 5,438.56.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 edged up 0.33 percent, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.44 percent.   Continued...

 
U.S. dollar and British pound notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. Picture taken November 7. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration