Overseas Trading: Stocks Flounder Following Fed Minutes

The April Fed minutes are pressuring stocks around the world, as traders worry about the prospect of a June interest-rate hike

May 19, 2016 at 8:42 AM
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Stocks in Asia mostly retreated, after the release of the April Fed minutes raised concerns of an imminent interest-rate hike. China's Shanghai Composite finished a hair below breakeven, down 0.01%, after authorities called on local governments, financial institutions, and steel mills to lower capacity -- with commodity and banking stocks among the hardest hit.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei erased earlier gains to end on a slim 0.01% lead, after a weaker yen turned volatile in the afternoon. Rounding things out, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively -- with the latter dragged south by a 15% plunge in shares of Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., after the firm failed to reach a deal to restructure debt.

European markets are also down on fears the Fed will lift interest rates in June, as well as weakness among mining and energy stocks. The disappearance of an EgyptAir flight is also weighing on travel stocks throughout the region. At last check, London's FTSE 100 has dropped 0.9%, despite better-than-forecast retail sales data for April. Finally, the French CAC 40 is off 0.2%, while the German DAX is down 0.6%, with drugmaker Bayer in focus after proposing to buy Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON).

overseas trading may 19

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