Stocks slide with commodities on economy, Fed

Economic Data

The Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading indicators for January increased 0.2%, matching the median economist estimates. Another report from the National Association of Realtors showed sales of previously owned U.S. homes increased 0.4% in January, beating the median forecast for a 0.8% decrease.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 1.5%, the most in two weeks. The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on benchmark gauges in the U.K., Germany and France was at least 15% greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A composite gauge of euro-area services and manufacturing output dropped to 47.3 from 48.6 in January, London-based Markit Economics said today,

Industries most reliant on economic growth for revenue led losses, with Akzo Nobel NV, the world’s largest paintmaker, sinking 3% and BHP Billiton Ltd., the biggest mining company, sliding 4%.

Axa Slumps

Axa SA fell 3.1% after Europe’s second-largest insurer reported profit that missed analysts’ estimates. BAE Systems Plc rallied 4.1%, the most in five months, as the region’s largest arms maker announced a 1 billion-pound ($1.5 billion) buyback program and posted profit topped projections.

The euro fell against 13 of its 16 major counterparts, losing 1.2% versus the yen. The Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against six trading partners, gained as much as 0.5% to 81.508, the highest level since Sept. 5.

Spanish 10-year bonds trimmed declines after the government sold more debt than targeted at an auction. The yield was up one basis points at 5.20% after climbing as much as six basis points to 5.24%. Spain sold 4.23 billion euros ($5.58 billion) of bonds, more than its maximum target of 4 billion euros.

Commodities

Nickel dropped 3.1% and copper fell 1.2% as 21 of 24 commodities in the S&P GSCI Index retreated. West Texas Intermediate oil fell 2.5% to $92.84 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Dec. 31.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index sank 1.5% to the lowest since Dec. 27 on a closing basis. The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 3% and the CSI 300 tumbled 3.4%, the most since August 2011. China’s government told local authorities to curb real estate speculation, according to a statement yesterday. Benchmark gauges in Russia, India, South Africa, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Thailand lost at least 1%.

Emerging-market stocks may enter a “significant correction” after they trailed developed-nation shares this year, JPMorgan & Chase Co. said in a report dated yesterday. The MSCI gauge for developed countries has advanced 4.3% this year.

Bloomberg News

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