China and oil weigh on Wall Street

PARIS, Aug 15 (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange fell on Monday at the start of trading after disappointing economic data in China and the announcement of a surprise contraction in the Empire State index in August.

A few minutes after the opening, the Dow Jones index lost 170.39 points, or 0.5%, to 33,590.66 points and the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.43% to 4,261.68 points.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.03%, or 3.744 points, to 13,043.442.

As earnings season draws to a close, investors are more focused than ever on any clue that might shed some light on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy intentions.

While awaiting the publication of monthly retail sales figures and the minutes of the last Fed meeting on Wednesday, they were cooled by the publication in China of a series of statistics below expectations.

Added to this, the unexpected contraction of manufacturing activity in the New York area, to -31.30 this month.

Oil groups Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton and Marathon Oil dropped 3.17% to 4.81% as crude prices fell on China concerns.

The barrel of Brent and that of WTI lost more than 5% to 93.24 and 87.19 dollars respectively.

(Written by Laetitia Volga, Editing by Kate Entringer)

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