NEW YORK (Reuters) - World equity markets and commodities fell on Wednesday as global growth concerns sparked by the International Monetary Fund overshadowed the recent prospect of central bank stimulus from Japan on top of U.S. monetary easing.
U.S. and European shares fell more than 1 percent after a dour report on car sales in Europe and after the IMF on Tuesday downgraded its global growth projections for this year and next.
But gold rose, bucking a fall in other commodities, after a slide to two-year lows this week lured Asian buyers. Sentiment was still severely shaken by the biggest two-day loss in 30 years.
Copper fell more than 3 percent, weighed by growth worries and a 10.3 percent decline in March of European car sales, a key source of metals demand. Defying earlier industry predictions of a second-half rebound, sales are headed for a sixth straight annual decline to a two-decade low.
Brent crude fell below $99 per barrel on the prospect of sluggish U.S. and Chinese fuel demand amid rising crude supplies in the United States.
The North Sea benchmark has lost nearly 6 percent over the past five sessions in a commodities rout triggered by data showing growth in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, slowed unexpectedly in this year’s first three months.
The benchmark S&P 500 index retreated from its second-best daily performance of the year after several disappointing earnings reports and the drop in commodities.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 145.44 points, or 0.99 percent, at 14,611.34. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 21.81 points, or 1.39 percent, at 1,552.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 57.88 points, or 1.77 percent, at 3,206.75.
First-quarter revenue at Yahoo Inc fell shy of expectations on declining Web traffic and falling advertising sales. Intel Corp said its current-quarter revenue would decline as much as 8 percent and trimmed its 2013 capital spending plans. Bank of America Corp said revenue fell.
MSCI’s all-country world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 countries, dipped 1.2 percent to 355.65 points, reversing some of the previous day’s sharp gains.
In Europe, the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index extended a three-day losing streak, falling 1.5 percent.
Brent crude shed $1.69 to $98.22, while U.S. crude slipped $1.40 to $88.31.
Bonds resumed their gains as world shares and industrial commodities responded to concern about economic growth.
“Whether against stocks or commodities, the demand for Treasuries remains firm,” said Ian Lyngen, a senior government bond strategist at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Connecticut.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 7/32 in price to yield 1.6967 percent.
The yen fell for a second straight day against the dollar and euro on expectations major developed and emerging economies will not voice strong concern over Japan’s aggressive monetary easing that has triggered a sharp slide in its currency.
The dollar rose 0.21 percent to 97.72 yen, although it remained below the four-year high of 99.94 yen set on Reuters data last week.
The euro slid from a seven-week high against the dollar, tracking losses in European shares. The euro slipped 0.99 percent to $1.3045.
Spot gold prices rose $18.27 to $1,386.00 an ounce.
Additional reporting by Richard Hubbard in London; Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Nick Zieminski