US stocks tumble on surprise yuan devaluation

GMT 01:00 2015 Wednesday ,12 August

Arab Today, arab today US stocks tumble on surprise yuan devaluation

US stocks
New York - AFP

US stocks fell sharply Tuesday after China unexpectedly devalued its currency, as Apple, General Motors and other companies heavily exposed to China dropped.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 212.33 points (1.21 percent) at 17,402.84.  

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 20.11 (0.96 percent) to 2,084.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 65.01 (1.27 percent) to 5,036.79.

China's central bank devalued its yuan currency Tuesday by nearly two percent against the US dollar, as authorities said they were seeking to push market reforms, in the context of a slowing economy.

The move raised concerns about a strengthening US dollar and whether the Chinese economy is weaker than thought.

Among the stocks to fall sharply were Apple (-5.2 percent) and General Motors (-3.5 percent), both of which are relying on China as a major growth market.

GM said its exposure to fluctuations in the yuan is "limited and manageable," in part because its factories in China gives it a "natural hedge" against currency moves.

"We continue to expect strong results in China will be sustained through the remainder of the year," the automaker said in a statement.

US-listed Chinese companies fell, including Alibaba (-3.9 percent), Baidu (-5.0 percent) and (-6.8 percent).

Metals producers Freeport-McMoRan and Alcoa sank 12.3 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, as prices for aluminum and copper retreated following the yuan devaluation.

Google jumped 4.3 percent after it announced a new corporate structure in which the search engine company will become part of a larger company that will be called Alphabet. The shift is intended to let Google pursue new growth businesses such as Google Glass and Google TX without detracting from core revenues.

US computer security company Symantec tumbled 6.9 percent after announcing it would sell its data management business Veritas to a group of investors for $8 billion in cash. Credit Suisse downgraded Symantec, saying the sale of Veritas would result in a large tax liability.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to 2.14 percent from 2.23 percent on Monday, while the 30-year slipped to 2.81 percent from 2.90 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


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