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US stocks fall sharply.

Greenback reaches multi-year highs; euro near low of 12 years

New York -- US stocks fell one per cent on Tuesday, with major indexes dropping in a broad decline and turning negative for the year amid continued strength in the dollar.

Concerns over Greece's debt talks added to the day's weakness, which took the S&P 500 below its 50-day moving average, a sign of weak near-term momentum.

The US Dollar index rose 0.7 per cent and is on track for its fourth rise of the past five sessions, up 3 per cent over that period. The euro fell 0.9 per cent against the dollar to nearly a 12-year low.

"There's some concern about what impact this will have on corporate earnings going forward, especially for the big multi-national companies," said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group in New York.

Eurozone ministers agreed that technical talks between finance experts from Athens and its international creditors would start on Wednesday, with the aim of unlocking further funding. However, the ministers warned Greece that it had "no time to lose".

Greece's debt issues have been on the back burner of late for US investors, who continue to watch the region with caution. While the US has little direct exposure to the country, there are concerns that extended uncertainty could spread throughout the eurozone. "There's a lot of rhetoric out there, some of which feels like name-calling, all of which makes the situation read as worse than it used to be," Colas said.

In China, the pace of inflation unexpectedly picked up in February while producer prices continued to slide, underscoring the intense pressure on profit margins at Chinese companies and adding urgency to policymakers' efforts to find new ways to support growth.

The day's losses were broad, with all 10 primary S&P 500 sectors lower. Despite that, major indexes were roughly 3 per cent away from record levels. At 10:57am (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average fell 208.62 points, or 1.16 per cent, to 17,787.1, the S&P 500 lost 21.29 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 2,058.14 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 62.13 points, or 1.26 per cent, to 4,880.31.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,164 to 781, for a 2.77-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,034 issues fell and 528 advanced, for a 3.85-to-1 ratio. The S&P 500 was posting 3 new 52-week highs and 15 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 21 new highs and 64 new lows.

France's CAC 40 was down 1.2 per cent while Germany's DAX fell 1.2 per cent. Britain's FTSE 100 was 1.4 per cent lower. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 per cent despite the yen weakening against the dollar, which usually helps export stocks. South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.4 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.9 per cent.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:Mar 10, 2015
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