DJIA             32757.54   -162.92    -0.49% 
Nasdaq           10546.03   -159.38    -1.49% 
S&P 500           3817.66    -34.70    -0.90% 
FTSE 100          7361.31     29.19     0.40% 
Nikkei Stock     27324.29     86.65     0.32% 
Hang Seng        19203.03   -149.78    -0.77% 
Kospi             2352.08     -0.09     0.00% 
SGX Nifty*       18458.00     -29.0    -0.16% 
*Dec contract 
USD/JPY    137.35-36    +0.33% 
Range      137.48   136.71 
EUR/USD    1.0605-08    -0.02% 
Range      1.0615   1.0598 
CBOT Wheat March $7.484 per bushel 
Spot Gold  $1,784.60/oz  -0.1% 
Nymex Crude (NY) $75.68 $1.39 

U.S. stocks slipped, dragged lower by shares of everything from banks to technology companies.

The S&P 500 fell 0.9%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.5%.

Investors say markets have faced pressure from a variety of factors. Central bankers around the world have warned they will have to hold interest rates at higher levels for longer despite recent progress in the fight against inflation. Data on U.S. retail sales has fueled some concerns that consumers are beginning to feel the bite of high borrowing costs and inflation. A surge in Covid-19 cases in China has raised questions about its recent loosening of pandemic restrictions, too.

"There's still so much concern overhanging markets about the never-ending Covid story and the worries about a hard landing due to rate hikes," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. "Even if we do get a year-end rally, it will fizzle out because those concerns are still there."


The Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.1% at 27273.89 as gains in financial stocks helped offset losses in electronics and auto stocks. Dai-ichi Life Holdings was up 2.1% and Resona Holdings was 2.2% higher, thanks to gains in long-term U.S. Treasury yields overnight. Meanwhile, Sony Group was down 1.2% and Toyota Motor was 0.6% lower amid uncertainty over the global economic outlook. Investors are focusing on the Bank of Japan's policy meeting outcome later in the day.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi fell 0.6% to 2337.20 in early trade, heading for a fourth straight session of losses, following Wall Street's decline overnight spurred by global recession concerns. Investor sentiment has deteriorated amid central banks' jumbo rate increases and weakening economic data, said Tina Teng, markets analyst at CMC Markets, in an email.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 1.4% to 19079.76, tracking declines on Wall Street overnight, as concerns persisted about prospects for the global economy and tightening of monetary policy. The weakness also comes after the PBOC kept China's benchmark loan rates unchanged this month. Property developers and consumer-related sectors were among top laggards.

Shares in mainland China were lower in early trade, as the bleak economic situation after the reopening offset recovery optimism. Most stocks were down, with property stocks leading the laggards. Consumption-related companies from food producers to daily chemical product makers also weighed on the market. The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.3% to 3098.95. Both Shenzhen Composite Index and ChiNext Price Index were 0.3% lower.


JPY was weaker against most G-10 and Asian currencies ahead of the BOJ meeting's outcome later today. The Japanese central bank's dovish positioning will likely be undeterred by last week's hawkish signals from the ECB and Fed, Vishnu Varathan, head of Economics & Strategy for Asia & Oceania Treasury Dept. at Mizuho Bank, said in an email. The BOJ is poised to hold with rhetoric supporting policy accommodation, which might entail some downside risks to JPY, Varathan added. USD/JPY rose 0.3% to 137.38, AUD/JPY gained 0.1% to 91.91 and EUR/JPY was up 0.3% at 145.64.


Gold edged lower in the early Asian session as slightly higher U.S. Treasury yields diminished the appeal of the non-interest-bearing asset. The precious metal is still holding up relatively well in December and this could gain traction as investors position their portfolios a bit more on the defensive side, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in an email. Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,784.60/oz.


Oil rose in the Asian morning session amid ongoing demand hopes. Crude-oil prices have gained on optimism toward China's reopening, as well as on the Biden administration's recent plan to replenish the U.S. strategic petroleum reserves, beginning with a purchase of three million barrels of oil, said Tina Teng, markets analyst at CMC Markets, in an email. Front-month WTI crude oil futures were 1.1% higher at $76.00/bbl; front-month Brent crude oil futures were 1.0% higher at $80.57/bbl.

China PBOC Keeps Benchmark Lending Rates Unchanged 
European Energy Ministers Agree to Natural-Gas Price Cap 
U.S. Delays Key Step for EV Subsidy Program After Foreign Pushback 
Reserve Bank of Australia Says Larger Rate Rises Still an Option 
Analysis: Oil Expected to Rally in 2023 But Uncertainties Persist 
Jan. 6 Panel Votes to Refer Trump to Justice Department for Criminal Charges 
Russia, China to Hold Joint Naval Drills as Moscow and Belarus Vow to Cement Ties 
Harvey Weinstein Convicted of Three Sex Crimes in California 
Biden Administration Races to Change Asylum Rules as Title 42 Expiration Looms 
Sam Bankman-Fried Appears in Bahamas Court 
Binance.US to Buy Assets of Bankrupt Crypto Lender Voyager 
Honeywell to Pay $203 Million in Settlements Over Bribery 
Domino's Pizza Franchiser Postpones Hong Kong IPO 
FCC Deadlock Shields Wireless Companies From Privacy Penalties 
Companies Must Reduce Impact on Biodiversity Under New U.N. Rules 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-19-22 2216ET