Global stocks, dollar slide as U.S. shutdown hits economies

THE current impasse trailing the partial shutdown of United States of America’s government continued to assail economies, as global stocks and U.S. dollar slumped Monday.
Indeed, the over one week-old shutdown got entangled in negotiations to raise Washington’s borrowing limit or risk default on U.S. sovereign debt.
A lack of progress by U.S. lawmakers in budget and debt ceiling talks rattled investors, pulling stocks on Wall Street down and sending European shares to a four-month low.
Republican House of Representatives Speaker, John Boehner, vowed not to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without a “serious conversation” about what is driving the debt, while Democrats said it was irresponsible and reckless to raise the possibility of a U.S. default.
The dollar fell, hovering near an eight-month low against a basket of major trading currencies, and crude oil prices slipped as the government shutdown and looming fight over the debt ceiling clouded the economic outlook.
“Last week, investors were hopeful that the government shutdown would be short-lived in nature,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.
“Now that it’s entering its second week, investors are growing a bit more edgy and that’s being played out in weaker world stocks and the dollar staying on the defensive.”
MSCI’s all-country world stock index, which tracks equity performance in 45 countries, was down 0.45 per cent.
European stocks drifted lower in thin trading as the U.S. budget impasse dragged on, pushing the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top regional shares down 0.29 per cent to a provisional 1,240.08, its lowest close in four weeks.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 72.22 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 15,000.36.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was down 7.12 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,683.38.
The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 21.06 points, or 0.55 percent, at 3,786.70.
Investors flocked to perceived safe havens like the yen and Swiss franc, driving the dollar to its weakest since mid-August against the Japanese currency.
The dollar index .DXY fell 0.19 percent to 79.973, after earlier trading at a low of 79.914, not far from an eight-month low of 79.627 hit on Thursday.
The dollar fell 0.29 per cent to 0.9046 Swiss franc.
The euro rose 0.11 per cent to $1.3572. Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.47 percent to 97.00 yen.
Brent crude fell more than one per cent to below $108 a barrel at one point as oil production resumed in the Gulf of Mexico after a tropical storm.
Concerns over the U.S. government shutdown and its economic impact also weighed on prices.
Brent subsequently pared its losses to trade flat at $109.60 a barrel.
The benchmark ended higher last week, snapping a three-week losing run.
U.S. crude fell 51 cents to $103.33 a barrel.
U.S. Treasuries prices gained as lawmakers in Washington showed no progress toward ending the partial government shutdown.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 6/32 in price to yield 2.6229 per cent.
Low-risk euro zone bonds pushed higher, with safe-haven German Bunds outpaced the rest of the euro zone market. Bund futures rose 35 ticks to settle at 140.31.