Global shares fall on economy fears; oil up on Iran worry

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Global shares fall on economy fears; oil up on Iran worry


MARKETS-GLOBAL:Global shares fall on economy fears; oil up on Iran worry


By Herbert Lash


NEW YORK (Reuters) – World equity markets slipped on Monday after economic data raised expectations of a recession in Europe and global growth driver China signaled a slower economic pace ahead, while oil fell as supply worries driven by tensions over Iran offset the economic gloom.


Profit-taking on the dollar drove up the euro after it hit near two-week lows, ahead of Thursday’s deadline for Greece to complete a bond swap with private creditors as part of a deal to secure a 130 billion euro bailout and avoid a messy default.


Wall Street stocks followed declines in European and Asian stock markets, and a measure of equities’ performance in emerging markets fell more than 1.0 percent.


Investors shrugged off data showing the massive U.S. services sector expanded in February at its fastest pace in a year. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 57.3 from 56.8 in January, besting economists’ expectations of a drop to 56.1.


“With China reducing the expected growth rate, the concern is there is the possibility of a bigger downside,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.


The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 14.76 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,962.81. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 5.30 points, or 0.39 percent, at 1,364.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 25.71 points, or 0.86 percent, at 2,950.48.


The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell 0.6 percent to close at 1,080.54.


Basic resources stocks in Europe were the top decliners, shedding 3.5 percent after China, the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, cut its annual growth target to an eight-year low.


Similarly in New York, materials shares were the biggest drags. The S&P materials sector index fell 1.6 percent, with aluminum producer Alcoa Inc


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