Cyberattacks against accounting software firm Wolters Kluwer and the City of Baltimore in May showed how the newest wave of malicious hacking can have significant, often...Technologyread more
The European parliamentary election is the second largest democratic exercise in the world.Europe Newsread more
Biden had criticized Kim Jong Un as a "dictator" and a "tyrant" at a recent rally in Philadelphia. North Korean state media responded by calling Biden a "fool of low IQ" among...Politicsread more
Buybacks have gotten a bad rap from both Republicans and Democrats. But stocks would be trading at a massive discount without them.Marketsread more
Fiat Chrysler and France's Renault could soon partner up to take on the sweeping changes to the global auto industry, according to a report in the Financial Times. The...Autosread more
Microsoft shares have gained 133% since November 2015, outperforming a tech "basket of unicorns" over that stretch.Technologyread more
The president's state visit comes amid tensions with carmaker Toyota over potential auto tariffs. Trump has repeatedly threatened Japanese and European carmakers with tariffs.Traderead more
The IRS is about to release a new draft of Form W-4, which will more closely reflect the changes stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For workers, that means they'll need...Personal Financeread more
The Mega Millions jackpot has spilled over $400 million. It would be the ninth largest winning since the game began in 2002.Personal Financeread more
Trump was speaking at a meeting of Japanese business leaders in Tokyo during his state visit to Japan on Saturday.Marketsread more
The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season.Energyread more
European shares largely closed in the red on Wednesday after weak manufacturing data fueled concerns about a global economic slowdown.
The Stoxx 600 was down 0.13 percent at the end of the first trading session of 2019, despite the DAX and the FTSE closing in the green. The CAC, however, ended the session 0.9 percent lower.
Most sectors were in the red at the end of the session, with basic resources shedding the most value and closing down 1.8 percent.
Global miners were weak amid lower copper prices and concerns over economic growth in leading metals consumer China. Mining giant Antofagasta was down 1.6 percent, while BHP Group's shares fell by 1.2 percent. Many U.K. manufacturers are reportedly stockpiling materials ahead of Britain's departure from the EU in March.
Data showing the first slowdown in Chinese factory activity in 19 months sent shares lower in Europe, with those most exposed to the Asian market feeling some impact. HSBC shares were trading down slightly lower, while Standard Chartered lost half a percent.
In other news, euro zone data also disappointed, with IHS Markit's December final manufacturing PMI reading coming in at 51.4, down from 51.8 in the previous month and the lowest reading since February 2016. However, manufacturing output PMI came in at 51, higher than November's 50.7.
Sterling, meanwhile, slumped more than 1 percent, to hit $1.2592 as recent data showed that British industries were ramping up their stockpiling in December amid growing uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Stateside, stocks slid on the back of the weak data from Asia and Europe. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were in the red, although the Nasdaq saw a rise of 0.2 percent. The U.S. government shutdown continues to add to political uncertainty, as the dispute between Democrats and President Donald Trump over the funding of a wall at the Mexican border reached an impasse.
Meanwhile China and the U.S. are trying to resolve trade tensions over a 90-day truce period, with President Donald Trump saying last week that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping "had a long and very good call" covering "all subjects, areas and points of dispute."
Gold and the Japanese yen were the beneficiaries of the volatility and geopolitical uncertainty as traders flocked to safe-haven investments. Gold topped six-month highs, while the yen reached a seven-month peak.
Wednesday also saw the Frankfurt prosecutor drop a probe against former Deutsche Boerse CEO Carsten Kengeter, who was being investigated for insider trading.
The European Central Bank appointed temporary administrators on Wednesday to take charge of troubled Italian lender Banca Carige, after several of the bank's board members resigned. Trading in Banca Carige's shares were suspended by Italy's market watchdog early Wednesday morning.
Shares of other Italian lenders fell, with Banco BPM off by 1.6 percent and UBI Banca down 1.9 percent.
In corporate news, Deutsche Telekom has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the German government over a 5G auction. German newspaper Die Welt reported Tuesday that the telecommunications giant's lawsuit contested a set of preconditions for participating in the auction, which would require bidders to invest to expand the country's mobile network and potentially allow new entrants to use their infrastructure.
Elsewhere, traders are looking ahead to an upcoming joint discussion between Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and former Fed chiefs Janet Yellen and Ben Benanke later this week. The Fed hiked interest rates four times in 2018, but expectations for further increases this year have soured amid concerns around waning economic growth.