NEW YORK: Most of the world’s main stock markets ran into profit-taking on Wednesday, prompted by weak economic data, lower oil prices and a sliding dollar.
Data showed French industrial output fell 0.8 percent in June, alarming analysts who had been looking for a modest increase in production from Europe’s second-biggest economy.
“The broad-based decrease in industrial output, again fueled by unions’ strikes, raises some questions on the strength of the French recovery,” HSBC economist Olivier Vigna said.
Strong equity gains on Tuesday left the market vulnerable to a pullback, especially with trading volumes low during summer holiday season, analysts said.
“Experience shows that any movement that is not underpinned by rising volumes or a catalyst has no staying power, so it’s best to remain cautious,” said Thierry Claude, a portfolio manager at Barclays Bourse in Paris.
The French CAC ended down 0.4 percent, the same loss as in Frankfurt, which had scored especially big gains Tuesday.
Tokyo lost 0.2 percent while London edged up 0.2 percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent, with energy shares especially weak due to lower oil prices and banking shares falling on dimming expectations for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase.
Expectations of Fed caution also hit the dollar, a reversal after Friday’s strong jobs report lifted the US currency.
The Fed “may be constrained by the global trend toward more easing,” Borish Schlossberg of BK Asset Management said.
“With all the other G-11 central banks remaining in highly accommodative mode, the Fed may be reluctant to tighten even if it wanted to for fear of creating sharp imbalances in dollar-linked economies.”
Dow member Disney rose 1.2 percent after reporting a 2.8 percent increase in third-quarter earnings to $2.7 billion as ticket sales for “Finding Dory” and other cinema blockbusters bolstered results.
German electricity company EON sank 7.8 percent after reporting 3 billion euros ($3.34 billion) in losses over the first half of 2016 as it wrote down the value of its traditional power infrastructure.
Shares of Japanese make-up giant Shiseido plummeted 7.5 percent after it cut its full-year profit forecast the previous day, blaming the yen’s rise.