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U.S. stocks slumped on Tuesday with both indices being negative for the year. Speculations on the FED hiking interest rates weighs on the markets. The S&P 500 closed -1.70% with a final quote of 2,044.16 points, the biggest drop in almost two months. The DOW JONES index dropped -1.85% closing at 17,662.94 points, now significantly below the psychologically important 18,000 points mark.
Chinese stocks were mixed on Wednesday after data came in weaker and below expectations. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading lower -0.66% at 23,740.30 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,291.48 points gaining +0.16% at the close. Retail Sales rose less-than expected +10.7%. Analyst expected +11.6% in February compared to +11.9% in January. Industrial Production in the second largest economy rose +6.8% year on year, below the estimated growth of +7.7%. Fixed Asset Investment came in at +13.9%, also below expectations of an increase of 15.1%.
The Nikkei posted gains on Wednesday despite a lower Wall Street. Construction stocks led the index higher. The Nikkei closed +0.31% with a final quote of 18,723.52 points. Core Machinery Orders for January declined less-than-expected in January with a reading of -1.7% compared to +8.3% in the previous month and forecasts of a decline of -3.8%.
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