Stocks retreat amid budget deadlock while Treasuries, gold fall

‘Critical Levels’

Centamin Plc, a gold producer in Egypt, plunged 47 percent in London trading after halting production as a diesel dispute cut supplies to “critical levels.” Centamin said that it was sent an “illegal retrospective claim” by Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. for $65 million for diesel and won’t receive fuel for its Sukari mine until the amount is paid.

The Egyptian pound dropped as much as 0.3 percent to 6.1786 per dollar, the weakest level since Dec. 2004.

Silver, coffee, gasoline and natural gas declines led declines in 20 of the 24 commodities tracked by the S&P GSCI Index, which slipped 0.9 percent. New York-traded crude oil fell 1 percent to $85.89 a barrel.

The euro strengthened against 14 of 16 major peers after European Union finance ministers agreed to put the central bank in charge of all euro-area lenders in a deal that will pave the way for a firewall fund to provide direct bailouts.

Euro-area finance ministers approved the release of the next aid payment to Greece today, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Brussels. He said money should start flowing as soon as next week.

The MSCI Emerging Markets was little changed following a six-day rally that drove it to the highest level since April 3.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent for an 11th straight gain, the longest-winning streak in more than three years. China’s yuan appreciated the most since March, strengthened 0.2 percent to 6.2326 versus the dollar. The yen weakened against all but two of its 16 major peers, sliding most against the Swiss franc and South Korean won. The Bank of Japan is due to hold a policy meeting on Dec. 19-20.

Bloomberg News

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