NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of stocks in major markets fell on Tuesday for the first session in 10 after Chinese trade data reinforced views that the world’s second-largest economy continues to lose momentum, while further clouding the market’s view on U.S. interest rates.
Crude futures ended lower after early gains.
China’s exports fell less than expected in September but a sharper fall in imports left economists divided over whether the country’s ailing trade sector is showing signs of turning around. The data was not enough to suggest a greater risk of a hard landing, but it did feed expectations that Beijing will soon add to stimulus measures.
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, who opposed the decision to delay a rate hike when the Fed met in September, said recent economic data is unlikely to convince other policymakers to increase rates when the Fed meets in two weeks. Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said the Fed should not hike interest rates this year.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen and Vice Chair Stanley Fischer have recently said they support raising rates this year, but an increasingly vocal group of policymakers warn a global economic chill could weigh heavily on the U.S. economy.
“The biggest market-moving news out is the Fed chitchat, and that’s not really helping,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh. “They keep saying something is going to happen and nothing happens.”
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 49.97 points, or 0.29 percent, to 17,081.89, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 13.77 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,003.69 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 42.03 points, or 0.87 percent, to 4,796.61.
The MSCI world share index .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.8 percent, ending its longest winning streak since February.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 ended down 0.9 percent and emerging market stocks .MSCIEF fell 1.3 percent. Nikkei futures NKc1 fell 1.4 percent.
Fort Pitt’s Forrest said the weakness in stocks toward the market close could be attributed to “a little bit of nervousness out there as the real earnings season begins.”
After the closing bell, JPMorgan started a string of reports from major U.S. banks. Within a week Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley will post results.
Crude prices lost all their early gains. Brent LCOc1 settled down 1.2 percent at $49.24 per barrel after gaining 1.7 percent at its session high and WTI CLc1 dropped 0.9 percent to settle at $46.66 after rising as much as 2.8 percent. Both fell more than 5 percent on Monday.
A slowdown in demand growth next year and added supply from Iran if sanctions against Tehran are lifted are likely to keep the oil market oversupplied through 2016, the International Energy Agency said.
Safe-haven U.S. Treasuries prices rose after the Chinese trade data, while continued expectations for a later Fed rate liftoff also supported prices.
“It’s all a global growth fear trade,” said Priya Misra, head of global rates strategy at TD Securities in New York. She said the Chinese data was the main catalyst behind the demand for U.S. government debt.
U.S. 30-year Treasury bonds were last up 29/32 in price to yield 2.8827 percent, from a yield of 2.928 percent late on Friday. Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 16/32 to yield 2.0439 percent, from a yield of 2.099 percent late on Friday.
The U.S. bond market was closed on Monday.
The dollar’s value against a basket of six major currencies .DXY dipped less than 0.1 percent and earlier touched its lowest in nearly a month.
The euro added 0.2 percent against the greenback at $1.1381 and the yen also strengthened 0.2 percent at 119.76 per dollar.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Sam Forgione, Richard Leong and Koustav Samanta; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli