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Jun 20, 2013

Asian Markets Latest News at the Time; 20th June, 2013.


China money-market rates fall from highs: report HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China's benchmark money-market rates tumbled Friday after the People's Bank of China made funds available to lenders to ease a credit squeeze, Bloomberg News reported. The one-day repurchase rate fell 3.84 percentage points to 7.90%, while the seven-day rate dropped 3.51 percentage points to 8.11%, the report said, citing data from the National Interbank Funding Center. Bloomberg had earlier in the day reported that the PBOC had injected 50 billion yuan ($8.17 billion) through short-term liquidity operations after some short-term interest rates hit record highs on Thursday.  
Hong Kong, Shanghai stocks slide; banks lower HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Hong Kong and mainland Chinese stocks tumbled Friday, extending losses from the previous day's selloff, after worries that the Federal Reserve would taper its bond purchases slammed commodities and U.S. shares. The Hang Seng Index fell 1.9% to 20,002.61, after briefly sliding under the psychologically-important 20,000-point level for the first time in more than nine months. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 2.3%, while in mainland Chinese trading action, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.9%. Shares of Chinese banks suffered big losses amid worries about high rates in the Shanghai interbank money markets, despite a Bloomberg report that the People's Bank of China had injected 50 billion yuan ($8.17 billion) after some short-term rates surged to a record on Thursday. Bank of Communications Co. fell 4% and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. slid 2.2% in Hong Kong. Property and resource-sector stocks also lost heavily. In Shanghai trade, shares of China Minsheng Banking Corp. fell 3.3%, while China Construction Bank Corp. tumbled 8.7% as the stock traded without rights to a dividend. 9:53 p.m. Today
Japan leads Asian stock slide after U.S. selloff Asian stocks skid after the Federal Reserve’s plans to gradually wind down its bond purchases result in a second day of heavy declines on Wall Street and slammed prices of commodities. 9:26 p.m. Today

News Analysis Two Economies in Turmoil, for Different Reasons / Global Market Turmoil Shows Reach of Fed Beyond U.S: The New York Times: ALERTS FGC BOLSA - FGC FINANCIAL MARKETS; June 20, 2013.


Compiled: June 20, 2013 10:10:43 PM

News Analysis

Two Economies in Turmoil, for Different Reasons
Fed officials are convinced they have done enough stimulus, but some critics see evidence in the persistence of high unemployment and low inflation that the Fed should do even more.

Global Market Turmoil Shows Reach of Fed Beyond U.S.
Tumbling stock, bond and commodity prices around the world in recent weeks are demonstrating just how reliant the global economy has become on the policies of the Federal Reserve.
For more on this topic, go to

Stocks Nosedive 2%, Dow Ends Down 350 on Fed Taper Talk; Vix Tops 20 for First Time in 2013: Wall Street at Close Report by CNBC; June 20, 2013

Stocks took a sharp nosedive across the board Thursday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 posting their worst day of 2013, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted the central bank may scale back its asset purchases later this year.

(Read More: After-Hours Buzz: ORCL, TIBX & More)
With the declines from the last two sessions, the Dow and S&P 500 wiped out all of their gains from May and June.
Name Price Change %Change
DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average 14758.32
-353.87 -2.34%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 1588.19
-40.74 -2.50%
NASDAQ Nasdaq Composite Index 3364.64
-78.57 -2.28%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 353.87 points, or 2.34 percent, to end at 14,758.32,
with all 30 components in the red. The last time the blue-chip index closed down more than 300 points was last November. The Dow is down more than 5 percent since its May closing high.

The S&P 500 tanked 40.74 points, or 2.50 percent, to close at 1,588.19, crashing through a key 1,598 level that traders had been watching. And the Nasdaq tumbled 78.57 points, or 2.28 percent, to finish at 3,364.63.

All three major averages were back in negative territory for the week, and on track for their fourth-weekly decline in the last five weeks.

(Read More: Market Seems to Have Lost Faith in The Fed)

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, spiked near 20, hitting a new high for the year.

All key S&P sectors finished sharply in the red. Defensive names have been getting hit the hardest over the last two days, the last two days, with utilities and telecoms down more than 4 percent each.
(Read More: Equities Going Higher Despite Fed Taper Talk: Pros)
Total volume on the NYSE ended at 4.53 billion shares, marking the second heaviest volume day of the year.

"We shouldn't be surprised by what the Fed said yesterday—Bernanke had already mentioned this in his speech back in May and we saw an immediate reaction in the bond market," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "We haven't had a meaningful correction in the market and if this selloff continues…it doesn't mean the market is going to collapse; it is essentially recalibrating—the road to normal is going to be filled with detours."

Fed policymakers said in a statement Wednesday that the central bank would keep buying $85 billion in bonds a month. But in a press conference, Bernanke said if the economy continues to improve, the central bank could could start winding down its asset-purchasing program towards the end of 2013 and wrap up in 2014.

"The FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] was more hawkish than we had expected," wrote Goldman Sachs economists Jan Hatzius and Sven Jari Stehn. "Our takeaway is that the risk to our forecast of quantitative easing tapering starting in December has increased."

(Read More: After the Fed—What's the Market's Next Move?)

Bernanke's comments sparked an initial selloff Wednesday, with the Dow closing down more than 200 points. The benchmark 10-year yield continued to rise even further Thursday to 2.469 percent, hitting its highest level since August 2011. Gold prices tumbled more than 6 percent, falling below $1,300 an ounce for the first time since Sept. 2010.

European shares closed deeply in the red across the board with the FTSEurofirst 300 index falling nearly 3 percent. Markets in Asia were slammed, with the Japanese Nikkei closing down nearly 2 percent. South Korea's Kospi and the Shanghai Composite traded near 2013 lows.

(Read More: Global Markets Feel the Sting of Fed's Tapering)

Adding to woes in Asia, China's HSBC Flash Purchasing Manager's Index, a preliminary reading of manufacturing activity, fell to a nine-month low in June.

On the economic front, existing home sale jumped in May to its highest level in 3-1/2 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. But shares of homebuilders plunged amid worries that mortgage rates might rise after Bernanke said the central bank could reduce the amount of money it pumps into the economy later this year. Pulte, DR Horton and Lennar rounded out the top three worst performers on the S&P 500 index.

Factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region rose to 12.5 in June, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, trumping expectations for a reading of minus 2. Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region's manufacturing. And a gauge of future economic activity touched its highest level in nearly five years in May, according to the Conference Board.

But traders shrugged off the positive reports.

(Read More: Stock Market Has More Room to Run: Strategist)

Meanwhile, jobless claims jumped 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000 last week, according to the Labor Department.

At its press event, Facebook introduced video features on its photo-sharing app, Instagram, where users will be able to record 15 second clips and choose from 13 video filters. The new product comes just six months after the release of Vine, Twitter's six-second mobile video capture application.

Also among techs, Microsoft declined after reports that the tech giant had planned to acquire Finland's Nokia, but talks had broken down.

Separately, Microsoft announced a major change to its Xbox One videogame console, saying it will no longer require an Internet connection to play offline games. It also dropped all restrictions on trading games, and did away with region-locking restrictions. Gamestop bucked the negative market trend, soaring nearly 7 percent to lead the S&P 500 gainers.

Among earnings, Kroger posted earnings that topped expectations and lifted its full-year profit forecast.

Oracle is slated to post earnings results after the closing bell.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:

U.S. stocks extend tumble on Fed taper fears: Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch; June 20, 2013.

By Polya Lesova and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks tumbled on Thursday, with the S&P 500 suffering its worst session since November 2011, hit by fear that the Federal Reserve will scale back its bond buying later this year. 

Asian and European stocks, along with gold, oil and Treasurys, also posted steep declines. Disappointing Chinese data further hit sentiment. 

Fed eyes end of bond buying
Paul Vigna and Steven Russolillo discuss market reaction to the Federal Reserve's rate decision, and George Stahl looks at Facebook's potential leap into video. 

After dropping as much as 380 points intraday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -2.34% ended down 353.87 points, or 2.3%, to 14,758.32, with all of its 30 components in negative territory.
It was the Dow’s largest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 7, 2012, the day after the U.S. 

presidential election. And it was the index’s biggest one-day point decline since Nov. 9, 2011. 

Walt Disney Co. DIS -3.65% and Intel Corp. INTC -3.26% led the Dow lower, dropping 3.7% and 3.3%, respectively. 

The S&P 500 index SPX -2.50% dropped 40.74 points, or 2.5%, to 1,588.19, marking its biggest decline since Nov. 9, 2011. 

All 10 of the index’s major industry groups ended lower, with consumer staples and utilities posting the biggest declines. 

Volume was brisk. More than 4.8 billion shares of New York Stock Exchange-listed shares traded hands. 

The Nasdaq Composite COMP -2.28% lost 78.57 points, or 2.3%, to 3,364.63. 

The CBOE Market Volatility Index VIX +23.14%  surged 23% to 20.49, on track for its highest close since December. 

Gold futures GCQ3 -7.07% dropped $87.80 an ounce to close at $1,286.20 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking their lowest finish since September 2010. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that the central bank may begin to scale back its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program later this year if the economy continues to show strength. 

The Fed’s stance led to sharp losses for U.S. stocks on Wednesday, while the 10-year Treasury yield 10_YEAR +0.08% soared. 

On Thursday, the 10-year yield climbed as high as 2.461%

“If you’re that momentum investor looking for a quick trade, you didn’t get the information you were hoping for,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group. She said the market is “acting rationally” and selling off about as much as she expected given the Fed “really did disclose that it’s not going to be ‘QE Eternity.’” The central bank’s bond buying also has been called quantitative easing, or QE.

The stock market’s big advance since 2009 has in part been fueled by Fed policies that have punished other asset classes and encouraged investment via equities. But at the same time, the end of such policies also should be cause for some celebration among stock investors, according to some analysts. 
Fort Pitt’s Forrest said that she’s a value investor looking for mispriced yet attractive stocks to hold for at least three years, and therefore she and her colleagues aren’t selling now. “When the market swoons like this, it’s a buying opportunity,” she said. Investors should be looking for entry points, although not necessarily today, she said. 

Other strategists are cautious. 

“Near term, it is recommended investors wait for sentiment to turn extremely pessimistic before new buying,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at R.W. Baird, in emailed comments.
The Dow notched its eight straight triple-digit move, nearing a record set in 2008, when there were 10 swings of that magnitude. It’s also trading below its 50-day moving average, and closing below that key stock chart level for the first time since December. 

In economic news Thursday, initial weekly jobless claims rose by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected claims to rise to 340,000. 

Markit’s U.S. flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index edged down to a 52.2 reading in June from 52.3 in May. Thursday’s economic reports also included better-than-anticipated figures for sales of existing homes and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s index of business conditions. 

Existing-home sales rose 4.2% in May to 5.2 million, above the 5 million expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. 

The Philly Fed’s index rose to 12.5 in June, easily beating the negative 1.0 that economists anticipated. The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators edged up 0.1% in May to 95.2. That was slightly less than the 0.2% gain forecast by economists. 

Wednesday’s post-Fed rout extended to global markets, with the Hang Seng Index HK:HSI -2.88% and the Shanghai Composite Index CN:SHCOMP -2.77% each tumbling close to 3% on Thursday. Fed worries were piled on top of a Chinese purchasing managers’ index that hit a nine-month low, according to preliminary HSBC data. 

In Europe, stocks fell sharply, with Germany’s DAX DX:DAX -3.28% dropping 3.3% and the Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP -2.97% falling 3%. 

Oil futures fell $2.84 to end at $95.40 a barrel on the Nymex, while the U.S. dollar shot higher against other major currencies. 

Among individual stock moves, shares of Facebook Inc. FB -1.68% dropped 1.7% after the social-networking company unveiled a video service for its Instagram image-sharing app. 

Polya Lesova is MarketWatch's New York deputy bureau chief. Follow her on Twitter @PolyaLesova. Victor Reklaitis is a New York-based markets writer for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek.

Twitter to open 'global centre of excellence' in Vancouver : BIV Today's Business News; June 20, 2013.


Twitter to open 'global centre of excellence' in Vancouver

Twitter plans to create a "global centre of excellence" in Vancouver, according to ... READ MORE

Real Estate and Development


Twisting Trump Tower coming to downtown Vancouver

Celebrity billionaire Donald Trump will lend his name to a $360 million, 63-storey hotel and residential tower in ... READ MORE

Politics and Policy


City to vote on two-year study of viaduct plans

Vancouver's already drawn-out viaduct saga might get a bit longer if the City of Vancouver council approves a staff report recommending ... READ MORE

Environment and Sustainability


BDC Venture Capital creates $100 million clean-tech fund

BDC Venture Capital has announced a new $100 million fund for smaller, scalable renewable energy and ... READ MORE

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Cruise ship travel reps in Vancouver for conference

We Heart Local Awards to celebrate local food growers this summer

Yale becomes third B.C. First Nation to reach final treaty

This Week's Issue


Restaurateurs angered over liquor sales stings

Restaurateurs are upset at what they say is the British Columbia Liquor Control and Licensing Branch’s (BCLCLB) heavy-handed approach to ... READ MORE

CMI I Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York; June 20, 2013.

Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Updated 6/20/2013 Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
GOLD $1,287.40 -$87.90 $1,379.05 $1,386.55 $1,616.10
SILVER $19.92 -$1.79 $21.66 $22.69 $28.42
PLATINUM $1,369.10 -$57.00 $1,450.80 $1,484.80 $1,471.60
PALLADIUM $680.60 -$22.40 $731.40 $753.60 $621.30

A Simple ETF Strategy for Investors, Tim Reazor: MoneyShow Investors Daily Alert: June 20, 2013.

The Daily Guru
No-Nonsense Investing
Jim Jubak on
CHARTS IN PLAY Exclusive Interviews
Today's Featured Videos
3 New Innovative ETFs, Doug Fabian

The VIX, Stock Market, and Interest Rate Hikes, Bill Luby: MoneyShow Traders Daily Alert; June 20, 2013.

Traders Daily Alert

Tips for Traders

Options Idea

Charts in Play

Currency Corner
What Is a Good Win Ratio?, Jeremy Wagner

Trading Idea of the Day

Today's Featured Videos & Exclusive Interviews

Europe Shares Post Worst 1-Day Fall in 19 Months: European Markets at Close Report by CNBC; June 20, 2013.

European shares closed sharply lower on Thursday, after a heavy sell-off on fears of a possible unwinding of monetary easing in the U.S., and weak economic numbers from China.
  Name Price   Change %Change Volume
FTSE FTSE 100 Index 6172.91
-175.91 -2.77% 643732497
DAX DAX Index 7951.93
-245.15 -2.99% 99766421
CAC 40 CAC 40 Index 3714.99
-124.35 -3.24% 109209573
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 7835.90
-262.40 -3.24% 234190722
(Read More: Global Markets Feel the Fed Tapering Sting)

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally down 2.9 percent at 1,146.22 points, and all major European indexes tumbled by around 3 percent. The downturn accelerated after the Euro STOXX 50 broke below a key support level.

Cyclicals such as autos and basic resources led shares lower, with the auto sector closing around 4.2 percent lower.

Miner Rangold Resources sank by 6.8 percent, and Fresnillo suffered a similar fall. Among the other big decliners were luxury goods makers Swatch and Richemont, and chip firm ARM Holdings.
A global sell-off restarted on Thursday, after Fed Chairman said the central bank could start to wind down its $85 billion a month asset purchasing program this year, if the U.S. economy continues to improve. The extra liquidity created by the program has been cited by analysts as the reason for this year's strong stock market rally.

(Read More: Taper Tipoff? Bernanke Hints Easing End Is Nearing)
In Asia, markets took another hit when a preliminary reading of China's HSBC Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) showed manufacturing activity fell to a 9-month low in June.

(Read More: Asia Gets Double Blow From Fed, China PMI)

However, flash PMI data for the euro zone came in better-than-expected on Thursday. The PMI number for June stood at 48.9, versus expectations of 48.1.

Later on Thursday, euro zone finance ministers will meet to decide whether banks will be able to seek direct recapitalization from governments. The ministers will also set guidelines for how much governments would contribute to such a rescue, and which banks would be eligible for a bailout.
Despite a widespread sell-off some stocks were trading higher. Shares of retailer Dixons were up by 1.58 percent after reporting a 15 percent rise in full-year underlying profit which beat expectations.
Shares of Ted Baker surged by 8.84 percent after it posted a 32.7 percent rise in first-quarter sales.
Shares of equipment rental firm Ashtead climbed 1.99 percent after reporting an 87 percent profit jump for its full year.

Nokia shares were higher on Wednesday by 3.7 percent, after reports that fellow tech giant Microsoft had planned to acquire the company but talks had broken down.

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin; June 20, 2013.

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Thursday, 20 June 2013

US Market
Stocks Fall Sharply Amid Lingering Fed Worries

Stocks have moved sharply lower in early trading on Thursday, adding to the steep losses posted in the previous session. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, with the Dow pulling back below the 15,000 level.

The major averages have recently climbed off their lows for the young session but continue to post notable losses. The Dow is down 139.00 points or 0.9 percent at 14,973.19, the Nasdaq is down 32.32 points or 0.9 percent at 3,410.88 and the S&P 500 is down 15.41 points or 1 percent at 1,613.52.

The early weakness on Wall Street comes as worries about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's stimulus program continue to weigh on the markets after Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank might begin scaling back its asset purchases later this year. Even though Bernanke stressed that tapering the program is highly conditional on signs of sustained economic growth, traders have still reacted negatively to the idea of a change in policy.

Peter Boockvar of Morgan Stanley said, "Assuming the Federal Reserve slows purchases in the 2nd half of the year, the market response yesterday and today is same ole, same ole." "Every time we reach the actual end of each version of QE, markets sell off as the fallacy of somehow QE can bring us to some sort of sustainable escape economic velocity faces the reality that the Fed has made markets and the economy almost solely dependent on them," he added.

On the economic front, the Labor Department recently released a report showing a bigger than expected rebound by initial jobless claims in the week ended June 15th.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 354,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 336,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 340,000 from the 334,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Gold stocks have shown a substantial move to the downside in early trading, falling sharply along with the price of the precious metal. With gold for August delivery plunging $82.20 to $1,291.80 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is down by 4.7 percent.

Significant weakness has also emerged among housing stocks, as reflected by the 3 percent loss being posted by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The drop has pulled the index down to its lowest intraday level in almost two months.

Steel, trucking, natural gas and semiconductor stocks are also under considerable selling pressure, moving to the downside along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw substantial weakness following the overnight sell-off on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plummeted by 2.9 percent.

The major European markets are also seeing significant weakness on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has slumped by 2.4 percent, while the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 2.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved notably lower, extending the sharp drop seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 7.7 basis points at 2.388 percent

Canadian Market
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TSX May Extend Losses At Open On Stimulus Concerns

Canadian stocks may extend losses at open Thursday amid liquidity concerns after the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman indicated a possible taper down of the stimulus program this year if the economy continues to improve. Sentiment was also impacted by manufacturing data out of China. The Asian markets plunged and the U.S. futures indicate a weak open.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program may end altogether by mid-2014 if the economy performs in line with Fed projections. The U.S. central bank played down the low inflation figures, but pledged to keep short-term interest rates at record lows until the jobless rate reaches 6.5 percent.

Elsewhere, China's manufacturing activity contracted at a faster pace in June, reducing the prospects of a promising economic recovery, preliminary results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC revealed. The flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 48.3 in June from 49.2 in May. The index is now at its lowest level in nine months.
In corporate news from Canada. TD Bank (TD.TO) announced that it received necessary approvals for its previously announced normal course issuer bid. The bank intends to repurchase up to 12 million of its common shares pursuant to its bid which will commence on June 21, 2013 and end on June 20, 2014

Entertainment technology company IMAX Corp. (IMX.TO) and CineStar Cinemas, Germany's largest exhibitor and a subsidiary of Amalgamated Holdings Ltd., Australia's leading entertainment and hospitality company, announced a revenue-sharing agreement for an IMAX theatre in Germany to be added to the landmark CineStar Sony Centre multiplex at Potsdamer Platz in the heart of Berlin.

Pharmaceutical company ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. announced that it has received a $4.8 million purchase order under its ongoing supply agreement with Octapharma, Swiss based, independent global plasma fractionation company that specializes in human proteins

In economic news from the U.S., the Labor Department said initial jobless claims climbed to 354,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 336,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 340,000 from the 334,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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European Markets Retreat On Stimulus Worries, China Data

The European markets are firmly in negative territory on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve indicated scaling down of the stimulus program, in line with expected improvement in the economy. Sentiment was also impacted by manufacturing data out of China.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Wednesday indicated that the $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program may end altogether by mid-2014 if the economy performs in line with Fed projections. The U.S. central bank played down the low inflation figures, but pledged to keep short-term interest rates at record lows until the jobless rate reaches 6.5 percent.

On the economic front, China's manufacturing activity contracted at a faster pace in June, reducing the prospects of a promising economic recovery, preliminary results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC revealed. The flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 48.3 in June from 49.2 in May. The index is now at its lowest level in nine months.

Closer home, Eurozone business activity logged the smallest downturn since March last year, flash survey data from Markit Economics showed. The composite output index improved to 48.9 in June from 47.7 in May. The reading also exceeded consensus forecast of 48.1.

Germany's manufacturing activity declined at a faster rate in June, defying economists' expectations that the downturn would ease. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector dropped to a two-month low of 48.7 in June from 49.4 in May, data from a survey by Markit Economics and BME revealed. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 49.9.

U.K. retail sales volume including automotive fuel grew 2.1 percent in May from a month ago, when it was down 1.1 percent, the Office for National Statistics said. It was stronger than the expected 0.8 percent increase. The increase in volume, excluding automotive fuel was also 2.1 percent, which reversed last month's 1.2 percent drop. Economists had forecast 1 percent rise.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 2.51 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 2.12 percent.

The German DAX and the French CAC 40 are declining 2.5 percent each while the UK's FTSE 100 is retreating 2.4 percent. Switzerland's SMI is falling 1.7 percent. In Frankfurt, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler are dropping between 4.3 percent and 3.6 percent. Commerzbank, which announced job cuts, is falling 1.6 percent. Berenberg Munich Re to ''Buy'' from ''Hold.'' The stock is falling 2 percent. Siemens is losing 1.2 percent. Nomura raised its rating on the stock. Life insurer Talanx is dropping 4.1 percent, after a broker downgrade. C.A.T. Oil is declining 7.2 percent. Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock.

In Paris, Carmaker Renault is losing 4.1 percent and retailer Carrefour is falling 4 percent. Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are losing between 3.7 percent and 2.8 percent. Alcatel Lucent is falling 0.6 percent. Merrill Lynch raised the stock to ''Buy.''

In London, Randgold Resources is retreating 7.6 percent and Polymetal International is declining 7.2 percent. Rio Tinto and BHP are down around 4.6 percent each. The Prudential Regulation Authority has found that five British banks together have a capital shortfall of 27.1 billion pounds. Royal Bank of Scotland has a shortfall of 13.6 billion pounds and Lloyds Banking 8.6 billion pounds, while the requirement for Barclays is 3 billion pounds. RBS is declining 3 percent and Barclays is falling 3.5 percent. Lloyds is sliding 0.7 percent. Bucking the trend, Dixons Retail is gaining 5.5 percent after reporting full year results. Berenberg raised its rating on Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance. Both stocks are falling in Stockholm. Kepler Cheuvreux raised H&M to ''Hold'' from ''Reduce.'' The stock is down 2.3 percent in Stockholm.

Asia Market
Asian Stocks Tumble On Bernanke Comments, China Worries

Asian stocks tumbled on Thursday, with investor sentiment hurt by Fed Chairman Bernanke's comments signaling the end of bond buying by the middle of next year and concerns over slowing growth in China.

Speaking at a news conference after a two-day Fed policy meeting, Bernanke yesterday indicated that the Fed is moving closer to slowing its bond-buying program later this year as long as incoming data remains broadly consistent with the Fed's forecasts. He expressed optimism about the economic outlook and hinted at ending bond purchases altogether around mid-2014. Bernanke's remarks were more explicit than markets had expected.

Meanwhile, China's manufacturing activity contracted at a faster pace in June, reducing the prospects of a promising economic recovery, preliminary results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC revealed. The flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to a nine-month low of 48.3 in June from 49.2 in May. The survey showed that new export orders weakened further in the month.

Tokyo stocks fell sharply, defying a weaker yen which fell against both the dollar and euro. The Nikkei average fell 230 points or 1.7 percent to 13,015, while the broader Topix index shed 1.3 percent. China-related shares like Komatsu and Hitachi Construction Machinery dropped 4-5 percent on fresh fears about Chinese demand. Realty firms Sumitomo Realty & Development lost 3.3 percent and Tokyo Tatemono slumped almost 6 percent, tracking rising yields on Japanese government bonds.

GS Yuasa soared 5.9 percent on a Nikkei report that it would form an alliance with German autoparts giant Robert Bosch GmbH and Mitsubishi Corp. to develop the next generation of high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

In economic news, a leading indicator of the Japanese economy recorded slower growth in April than initially estimated, final data released by the Cabinet Office showed. The leading economic index rose to 99 in April compared with an initial estimate of 99.3.The coincident economic index, which measures the current economic situation, moved up to 95.3 in the month from 94.6 in March, while the lagging index, a measure of the past performance of the economy, dropped to 87.9 from 88 in March.

China's Shanghai Composite index slumped 2.8 percent to hit a fresh a six-month low on growth worries and as Moody's Investors Service warned that Chinese banks faced risks from rising local government debt. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.9 percent to its lowest level in nine months.

Australian shares fell sharply, with banks leading the declines. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell 103 points or 2.1 percent to 4,758, posting its largest single-day loss in four months. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group lost 2.5 percent on reports it is considering eliminating up to 590 jobs in its call centers in Australia. NAB shares declined 2.8 percent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia retreated 3.1 percent and Westpac tumbled 3.7 percent.

Global miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto as well as gold miner Newcrest fell about 3 percent each. Fortescue Metals Group plummeted 6.6 percent after the company announced it will miss its iron ore production target for the 2013 financial year. Intrepid Mines lost 6.5 percent after its shareholders backed their board to make efforts to recover the rights over a $5 billion copper and gold mine in Indonesia.

South Korea's Kospi average dropped 2 percent to a 10-month low on concerns the Fed would taper its stimulus measures sooner than expected. The local currency hit an 11-month low spooked by Bernanke's remarks. Foreign funds offloaded stocks worth a net 457.9 billion won, extending their selling spree for a 10th consecutive session, data showed.

New Zealand shares joined a regional selloff, weighed down by stimulus worries and concerns about slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy. Weak GDP data domestically accentuated investor concerns about slowing global growth. The benchmark NZX-50 index fell 47 points or 1.1 percent to 4,399. Network operator Chorus fell 5.2 percent on regulatory concerns, while Diligent Board Member Services tumbled 5.3 percent after admitting mistakes in recognizing revenue from new customer agreements and upgrades.

Shares of OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes gold field, plunged over 12 percent as gold prices fell to a one-month low. Exporter Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2.4 percent, bolstered by a weaker kiwi dollar. New Zealand's gross domestic product expanded 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous three months, with the Canterbury rebuild boosting activity for construction and related services, Statistics New Zealand said. That was shy of forecasts for an increase of 0.5 percent following the 1.5 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Elsewhere, India's Sensex was down 2.5 percent, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was losing a whopping 3.7 percent, Malaysia's KLSE Composite edged down 0.6 percent, Singapore's Straits Times was moving down 2.4 percent and the Taiwan Weighted average lost 1.4 percent.

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Crude Dips On Inventories Report

The price of crude oil was moving lower Thursday morning after official data revealed inventory build up. However during the session, prices might find support as the Federal Open Market Committee raised its outlook on the U.S. economic recovery.

Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for August delivery, the most actively traded contract, lost $1.85 to $96.39 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled lower after the Energy Information Administration's weekly oil report showed a better-than-expected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. The decline in prices comes despite some upbeat economic outlook from Federal Reserve with the central bank announcing the continuation of its quantitative easing program unchanged.

Wednesday during trading hours, the EIA said U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased 0.3 million barrels to 394.1 million barrels for the week ended June 14. This is above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Analysts expected crude oil inventories to decline by 1 million barrels.

This morning the U.S. dollar advanced toward a 2-week high versus the euro and sterling, while extending gains versus the yen and the Swiss franc.
Gold Plummets Below $1,300

The price of gold dived near a three-year low Thursday morning after the US Federal Reserve indicated it would slow the pace of bond purchases later this year.

Gold for August delivery, the most actively traded contract, lost $75.70 to $1,298.30 an ounce, levels not seen since September 2010.

Yesterday, gold rebounded from a near four-week low even as investor anxiety persisted over the the outcome of the two-day U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meet. With no major macroeconomic data available today, there were little catalysts to provide fresh direction for gold. Nevertheless, the precious metal found some support with the dollar weakening against a basket of major currencies.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar advanced toward a 2-week high versus the euro and sterling, while extending gains versus the yen and the Swiss franc.
Elsewhere, the prices of silver and platinum were trading lower in morning deals.

From the U.S., the Labor Department is scheduled to release its jobless claims report for the week ended June 15th at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to rise to 340,000 from 334,000 in the week ended June 8th.

Later during the session, the National Association of Realtors will release its existing home sales report. Economists expect existing home sales to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million units for May compared to a 4.97 million-unit rate for April.