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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks fall, dollar up as data warns of sputtering recovery

Credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY

Shares fell and the dollar traded near two-month highs on Wednesday as data reaffirmed lingering concerns that new restrictions to counter coronavirus infections will hurt the economic recovery.

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Shares fell and the dollar traded near two-month highs on Wednesday as data reaffirmed lingering concerns that new restrictions to counter coronavirus infections will hurt the economic recovery.

The speed of recovery in U.S. business activity slowed down in September, with gains at factories more than offset by a retreat at services industries, suggesting a loss of momentum in the world's largest economy as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers.

September surveys of private sector activity also painted a gloomy picture in Europe, with rising COVID-19 infections leading to a downturn in services industries.

U.S. stocks had opened higher, tracking Europe, but turned negative after the morning data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 239.51 points, or 0.88%, to 27,048.67, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 38.66 points, or 1.17%, to 3,276.91 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 190.93 points, or 1.74%, to 10,772.71.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.55% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.72%.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.49%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.02% lower, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 lost 0.06%.

In foreign exchange markets, the standout mover was the dollar, which touched its highest level since late July against a basket of six major currencies =USD.

"At present, the market is once again dominated by concerns about a second wave of infections, above all in Europe, meaning that the dollar is in demand again," Commerzbank analysts wrote in a morning note.

The dollar index =USD rose 0.281%, with the euro EUR= down 0.24% to $1.1678.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.44% versus the greenback at 105.37 per dollar, while Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2739, up 0.06% on the day.

Oil edged up supported by a report that U.S. fuel inventories fell, although rising crude supply and concern of stalling demand capped gains.

"Oil prices are still faring comparatively well today given all the headwinds they are facing – a firm U.S. dollar, concerns about demand, rising supply," said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank.

U.S. crude CLc1 recently rose 0.35% to $39.94 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $41.84, up 0.29% on the day.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 5/32 in price to yield 0.679%, from 0.664% late on Tuesday.

Spot gold XAU= dropped 2.0% to $1,861.92 an ounce. Silver XAG= fell 6.40% to $22.85.

Emerging markets http://tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV

Global assetshttp://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

Global currencies vs. dollar http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Julien Ponthus and Alex Lawler in London and Lucia Mutikani in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

((rodrigo.campos@reuters.com; @rodrigocampos; +1 (332) 219-1131))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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