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Thursday September 23rd, 2021 8:53AM

US stocks open lower as worries grow about virus spread

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening broadly lower on Wall Street, echoing losses overseas, as investors become more worried about a resurgence in global infections of COVID-19. The benchmark S&P 500 was down 1.2% in the early going Monday, and Treasury yields moved lower as investors moved money into U.S. government bonds. European markets were taking bigger losses of between 2% and 3%. Crude prices fell 3% after major oil producing nations agreed to raise production limits. Indonesia has become a new epicenter for the pandemic as outbreaks worsen across Southeast Asia. Many nations have been hit with the more rapidly transmitted delta variant.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Global shares fell Monday amid deepening pessimism over rising COVID-19 infections, while oil prices dropped more than 3% after oil producing nations agreed to raise production limits.

France's CAC 40 shed 2.6% in midday trading, while Germany's DAX was down 2.8%. Britain's FTSE 100 dipped 2.5%.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.4% and futures for the S&P 500 lost 1.2%. The Russell 2000 index of small companies is faring worse, with futures down 2.2%.

Experts are saying Indonesia has become a new epicenter for the pandemic as outbreaks worsen across Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, some athletes have tested positive for COVID at Tokyo’s Olympic Village, with the Games due to open Friday.

“The more transmissible delta variant is delaying the recovery for the ASEAN economies and pushing them further into the doldrums,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya, at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

In Japan, the vaccine rollout came later than in other developed nations and has stagnated lately. Japan is totally dependent so far on imported vaccines and just one in five Japanese have been fully vaccinated.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 1.3% to finish at 27,652.74. South Korea's Kospi slipped 1.0% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.8%.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost $2.58 to $68.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $2.46 to $71.13 a barrel.

OPEC and allied nations agreed Sunday to eventually raise production limits imposed on five countries, ending an earlier dispute sparked by the United Arab Emirates that roiled global energy prices.

Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would see their limits rise, the cartel said in a statement.

The plan would boost their production by 2 million barrels a day by the end of this year.

Investors' attention now turn to earnings. Most companies will report their results this week and in following weeks. Hopes are high, with profits in the S&P 500 expected to jump 64% from a year earlier, according to FactSet.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities, AP Business - Personal Finance
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