Thu, 07 Dec 2023

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks had a choppy day Monday, which was marred by severe gyrations in bond and currency markets.

A spectacular dive by the British pound to an all-time low sparked wild selling of currencies and bonds across Asia. Treasury and Gilt yields shot higher.

Britain's central bank responded to the day's events with a vow to lift interest rates "as necessary."

"The Bank is monitoring developments in financial markets very closely in light of the significant repricing of financial assets," Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said in a statement Monday.

"The role of monetary policy is to ensure that demand does not get ahead of supply in a way that leads to more inflation over the medium term," Bailey said.

"The MPC will not hesitate to change interest rates as necessary to return inflation to the 2% target sustainably in the medium term, in line with its remit," he added.

The most damage on Wall Street was with the Dow Jones industrial averages, which lost 329.60 points or 1.11 percent, to close Monday at 29,260.81.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 65.00 points or 0.60 percent to 10,802.92.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 38.19 points, or 1.03 percent, to 3,655.04.

The majority of volatility on Monday was on foreign exchange markets. The British pound opened at 1.0859 before plunging to a record low at 1.0327. The currency was, however, bought back in late Asian, European and U.S. trading. Around the New York close Monday, the pound was quoted at 1.0702.

The euro was sharply weaker, finishing the day at 0.9619. The Japanese yen tumbled to 144.54. The Swiss franc was particularly weak at 0.9925.

The Canadian dollar fell to 1.3732. The Australiana and New Zealand dollars buckled to 0.6462 and 0.5640, respectively.

On overseas equity markets, the FTSE 100 in London surprisingly inched up 0.03 percent. The German Dax slid 0.46 percent. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.24 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 722.28 points or 2.66 percent to close at 26,431.55.

The Australian All Ordinaries tumbled 121.20 points or 1.79 percent to 6,667.50.

In New Zealand, the S&P NZX 50 dropped 83.50 points or 0.72 percent to 11,434.82.

South Korea's Kospi Composite plummeted 66.39 points, or 2.90 percent, to 2,223.61.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down 78.13 points, or 0.44 percent, at 17,855.14.

The Shanghai Composite was off 37.14 points or 1.20 p[recent at 3,051.23.

Related story:

Run on British pound sparks financial markets sell-off in Asia

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