U.S. stock indices plunged on Wednesday following oil prices. A slight rebound in oil prices helped stocks step away from session lows by the end of the session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 249.28 points, or 1.6% higher, to 15,766.74. The S&P 500 fell 22 points, or 1.2%, to 1,859 (its energy sector lost 2.9%). The Nasdaq Composite declined 5.26 points, or 0.1%, to 4,471.69 after an initial drop of 145 points.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that consumer prices unexpectedly declined in December as lower energy costs offset higher prices in the services sector. The consumer price index fell by 0.1% in December after being unchanged in November. However on an annualized basis the index rose by 0.7% marking the biggest gain over the year. Experts said that inflation growth may slow down because of persistent declines in oil prices. Economists had expected readings of 0.0% m/m and 0.8% y/y.
This morning in Asia Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 0.85%, or 160.38, to 18,725.92. China Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.02%, or 30.25, to 2,946.44. The Nikkei fell 0.76%, or 124.26, to 16,291.93.
Asian stock indices gave up early gains and turned red. The selloff was encouraged by declines in U.S. stocks and oil, as well as by concerns over global economic growth outlook. A stronger yen put additional pressure on Japanese exporters.