Stocks retreat a second day on growth worries, copper slips

Wed May 4, 2016 4:12pm EDT
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets fell for a second straight day on Wednesday on mostly weak economic data while metals prices slipped on renewed concerns of a downturn in global growth.

The U.S. services sector expanded in April as new orders and employment accelerated, but the growth outlook dimmed on another report showing private employers hired the fewest number of American workers in three years last month.

In Europe, surveys indicated that growth in the euro zone will be slow but steady, underscoring concerns about the vulnerability of the bloc's upturn.

Retail sales also fell across the euro zone as a whole in March, adding to the cautionary tone.

The price of copper, often viewed as a growth harbinger, fell due to selling triggered by a stronger dollar and manufacturing surveys from around the world.

Benchmark copper CMCU3 on the London Metal Exchange closed down 1.4 percent at $4,850.00 a tonne. A higher U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for non-U.S. firms.

MSCI's all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS of stock performance in 46 countries fell 0.92 percent, while the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed down 1.2 percent to 1,302.72 points, its lowest close in nearly four weeks.

The index of leading European shares lost 1.7 percent on Tuesday.   Continued...

A specialist trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., April 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid