US stocks snapped a four-day losing streak to end higher Monday, while European and Asian markets fell on fresh concerns about the embattled Chinese property market.
Wall Street stocks scored modest gains Monday as worries about a possible US government shutdown and lofty interest rates limited the bounce following recent weakness.
Washington is bracing itself for a potential government shutdown as hardline Republicans in the House of Representatives block key spending bills.
Moody’s warned Monday that a shutdown would have negative implications for the country’s top tier credit rating.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1 percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index scored bigger gains.
Briefing.com pointed to investor sentiment “that the market is due for a bounce” after all three major indices fell the last four days.
Among individual stocks, entertainment companies were mixed after the Writers Guild of America announced a tentative deal with studios. Disney slipped 0.3 percent and Warner Brothers Discovery tumbled 4.0 percent while Netflix gained 1.3 percent.
A recent spike in oil prices to 10-month highs above $90 a barrel is adding to the headache for central bankers, who have been raising rates to tackle high inflation, with observers warning the commodity could push above $100 owing to an output cut by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Crude prices rose slightly before sliding through Monday afternoon, while the dollar gained against other major currencies.
The yen touched its lowest level since last October against the dollar on Monday, weighed down by the determination of the Japanese central bank to continue its ultra-loose monetary policy, which makes the currency less attractive to investors.
Adding to the downcast mood, a closely-watched survey on Monday showed that business sentiment fell for a fifth consecutive month in September in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy.
Evergrande worries resurface
In Hong Kong, worries about China’s property sector returned as shares in struggling developer China Evergrande tumbled about 25 percent after it called off a creditor meeting and said it had scrapped a planned restructuring.
Evergrande’s enormous debt has contributed to the country’s deepening property market crisis, raising fears of a global spillover.
The property sector, which along with construction accounts for about a quarter of China’s gross domestic product, is a key pillar of the country’s growth and has experienced a dazzling boom in recent decades.
But the massive debt accrued by the industry’s biggest players including Evergrande has been seen by Beijing in recent years as an unacceptable risk for China’s financial system and overall economic health.
Key figures around 2100 GMT
New York – Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 33,006.88 points (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.4 percent at 4,337.44 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.5 percent at 13,271.32 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.0 percent at 4,167.37 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 7,623.99 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX: DOWN 1.0 percent at 15,405.49 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.9 percent at 7,123.88 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.9 percent at 32,678.62 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.8 percent at 17,729.29 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,115.61 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0597 from $1.0647 on Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2213 from $1.2240
Dollar/yen: UP at 148.84 yen from 148.36 yen
Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.74 pence from 86.96 pence
Brent North Sea crude: FLAT at $93.29 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.4 percent at $89.68 per barrel