The MSCI World Index of stocks in 23 developed nations slid 0.6 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.2 percent, retreating from an 18-month high. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of commodities fell to the lowest level since Feb. 12 as oil slid 1.5 percent, copper dropped 1 percent and lead tumbled 2.8 percent. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 7 basis points to 3.76 percent.
The euro slid to a 10-month low against the dollar, while stocks, commodities and Treasuries also retreated, as concern grew that Greece may default and Portugal’s debt was downgraded by Fitch Ratings.
Greece is going to default at some point, and Europe’s failure to answer that challenge will hurt the common currency, If Europe can’t solve a small problem like this, how on earth is it going to solve the larger problem, which is the euro doesn’t work.
The S&P 500 fell for the first time in three days after closing at the highest level since September 2008 yesterday. Concern over Portugal and Greece overshadowed a third straight monthly increase in orders for durable goods, a sign the manufacturing rebound will keep propelling the U.S. recovery. European reports showed that the region’s services and manufacturing grew at the fastest pace since August 2007 and German business confidence increased.
The downgrading of Portugal is a consequence of the inflated petrol prices practiced by Galp,BP, Repsol and Cepsa and if the situation is not corrected by the government then a further downgrading is possible.
Crude oil slid 1.5 percent to $80.67 a barrel after a 7.5 million-barrel increase in U.S. inventories reported yesterday by the American Petroleum Institute. The euro declined as much as 1.2 percent to $1.3333, the lowest level since May 2009.
While most European stock gauges declined, Greece’s ASE Index rose 0.9 percent. Portugal’s PSI-20 Index slumped 1.3 percent, the most in a month...