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Stocks and Bonds: World

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Wall Street was lower on Wednesday as tepid US economic data and lacklustre corporate results added to concerns about the health of the global economy. The ADP private sector employment report showed hiring in April fell to its lowest levels in three years. The report acts as a precursor to the more comprehensive government nonfarm payrolls data, which is expected on Friday.

US stocks fell on Tuesday after weak economic data in China and Europe reignited worries about global growth, while oil prices dropped for a second day, dragging down energy shares. Bucking the day's trend, Apple rose 1.6 percent to $95.18, breaking an eight-session streak of losses. Activity in China's factories shrank for the 14th straight month in April as demand stagnated, a private survey showed. Britain's manufacturing output also unexpectedly shrank last month to its lowest level in three years.
Britain's FTSE 100 index slid to a three-week low on Wednesday as basic-resources stocks extended the previous day's losses and retailers came under pressure. The FTSE 100 index dropped for a third straight session and closed down 73.57 points, or 1.2 percent, at 6,112.02 points, its lowest level since early April. The UK mining index fell 4.2 percent after slumping 6.8 percent on Tuesday as copper prices slipped further on concern about weakness in global manufacturing activity.
European stocks fell on Wednesday, with Dialog Semiconductor slumping after it cut its revenue outlook and BHP Billiton hit by news of a lawsuit filed against it in Brazil. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index shed 1.2 percent to 1,302.72 points, its lowest closing level in nearly four weeks. It lost 1.7 percent on Tuesday. "We may have the odd move higher, but we remain in a longer-term bear market," said Andreas Clenow, chief investment officer of Zurich-based ACIES Asset Management.
Indian shares fell for a third straight session on Wednesday on disappointment over quarterly earnings, including that of Adani Port which slumped nearly 12 percent, while regional markets languished due to global growth and deflation worries. The broader NSE index fell 0.52 percent to 7,706.55, after declining 1.3 percent in the previous two sessions. The benchmark BSE index dropped 0.51 percent to 25,101.73. Disappointing manufacturing surveys from China and the UK, combined with downgrades to growth and inflation forecasts from the European Commission soured investor mood.
Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Wednesday, snapping five straight sessions of gains, as worries about tax hikes dented sentiment. Brokers said investors were worried over a tax hike, which takes effect from Monday, as it could hit the bottomlines of companies. However, a loan deal with the International Monetary Fund last week limited the fall. The benchmark stock index fell 0.22 percent to 6,568.85, slipping from its highest close since January 11 hit on Tuesday.
China stocks closed roughly flat on Wednesday, as the Shanghai market came under pressure near key technical resistance and after signs of subdued manufacturing activity. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.1 percent, to 3,209.46, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed flat, at 2,991.27 points. For Shanghai, 3,000 is a key resistance level.