U.S. Index Futures Fall, Oil Drops on Growth Concern
(Corrects size of S&P 500’s four-week drop in fifth paragraph.)
U.S. stock futures slid, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may extend its largest four-week losing streak since 2009, and oil sank on speculation the global economy is stalling. The yen and Swiss franc weakened on concern Japan and Switzerland will weaken their currencies.
S&P 500 Index futures expiring in September declined 0.5 percent as of 8:08 a.m. in Tokyo. Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures slipped 0.2 percent in Chicago. Crude lost 0.7 percent in New York. Gold increased 0.6 percent, a sixth day of gains, and silver climbed 1.8 percent. The yen slid 0.4 percent to 76.85 per dollar after rallying last week to a post-World War II record and the franc lost 0.3 percent against the U.S. currency.
The four-week rout has wiped out more than $8 trillion in global equity values and dragged the MSCI All-Country World Index down 19 percent from its May 2 high. Central bankers from around the world will meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this week amid record-low yields on U.S. Treasuries that show traders expect Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to signal the central bank will begin a third-round of asset purchases to boost the faltering economic recovery.
“A lot of the traders and investors will wait to see what comes out of the Fed meeting in Wyoming this weekend,” Don Williams, chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management Ltd. in Sydney, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We’ve had three very violent weeks so it’s more likely that we’ll get a consolidation week this week.”
The S&P 500 fell 1.5 percent to 1,123.53 on Aug. 19, completing a four-week, 16 percent losing streak. A closing level of 1,090.88 would bring the index to a 20 percent decline since April 29, meeting the common definition of a bear market.
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