Wednesday, March 28, 2012

stocks Market closed down march 28 2012

stocks Market closed down march 28 2012, dow jones close down march 28 2012, European stocks closed down march 28 2012 : European stocks have closed lower, with investors hesitant after recent gains on concerns over China and the eurozone and data showed the British economy in worse shape than first thought. Dealers said the losses might reflect profit-taking following a strong start to the year but there have been some signs that the recent momentum has slowed.

At the same time, there remain concerns over the China and Europe outlooks and news that Britain's economy contracted 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter last year, after an original estimate of 0.2 per cent, hit sentiment.

A subdued opening on Wall Street after a weaker-than-expected durable goods orders report provided no lead, with investors wondering if the US Federal Reserve may need to take even more measures to boost the economy.

Comments by Fed chief Ben Bernanke that record low interest rates will have to stay low for some time to come drove recent gains but they have also given some pause for thought about the underlying strength of the recovery.

In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies closed down 1.03 per cent at 5808.99 points. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 fell 1.13 per cent to 6998.80 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 1.14 per cent to 3430.15 points.

Milan, which had held up through most of the day in positive territory on the view Italy is making progress on stabilising its public finances, slipped 0.28 per cent.

In New York, stocks fell back, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.34 per cent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite off 0.46 per cent at around 1550 GMT.

A lower-than-expected rebound in durable goods orders in February from January's surprise decline seemed to underscore concerns on the US economic outlook.

Initial orders for durable goods rose 2.2 per cent in February, reversing the revised 3.6 per cent dive in January, the Commerce Department reported.

The European single currency dropped to $1.3291 from $1.3315 in New York late on Tuesday, having been firmer for most of the day.

The weak US performance and renewed concern over the outlook for China made for a soft day, said analyst Mike McCudden at online brokerage Interactive Investor.

"Markets are anticipating slowing growth in China ... and expect more in the way of eurozone fireworks from Portugal and Spain."

London sentiment was also dented after the revised economic data as a further contraction in the first quarter of 2012 would put Britain back in recession. First-quarter data is scheduled for release in April.

The insurance sector was hit after Lloyd's of London posted its second-biggest loss on record, blaming major natural catastrophes including Japan's earthquake disaster and floods in Thailand.

Lloyd's, which is an insurance market, said it made a pre-tax annual loss of STG516 million ($A791 million) in 2011 on soaring claims. That compared with a profit of STG2.195 billion in 2010.

"Lloyds of London reported the costliest-ever year in their 324-year history for catastrophe claims after earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, tornadoes in the United States and flooding in Thailand and Australia," said CMC Markets dealer Vaughn Affonso.

Global stock markets are retreating slightly after sharp gains in the first few months of 2012 thanks to improving confidence in the US economy and easing tensions over Europe's debt crisis.

Asian markets mostly fell as investors consolidated sharp gains made on Tuesday. Tokyo fell 0.71 per cent, Hong Kong was off 0.77 per cent, Shanghai tumbled 2.65 per cent but Sydney rose 0.98 per cent.

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