U.S stocks fluctuated, after attempts to stabilize faltered as renewed weakness in China rekindled a rout in commodities from oil to copper. Government bonds fell with the yen.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index swung between gains and losses after the worst start to a year on record. European shares ended lower after a tumultuous session. The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled more than 5 percent, South Africa’s rand fell to a record low, oil extended its slide to a 12-year low and copper declined. Treasuries halted a seven-day advance.
Equities in Europe and the U.S. sought to end week-long selloffs as a strengthening of the yuan provided some relief to concern that the weakness in the Chinese currency would spark turmoil in the economies of its major trading partners. Markets still stumbled as selling in resources worsened, with the Bloomberg Commodity Index down 2.2 percent. Investors await an indication of whether slowing global growth hurt profits last quarter as Alcoa Inc. begins the reporting season after U.S. markets close.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.4 percent at 1:02 p.m. in New York, after rising as much as 0.7 percent earlier. The index capped its steepest ever slide over five days to begin a year amid a worldwide rout sparked by worries that China’s slowdown is worse than anticipated. Even data showing resilience in the U.S. labor market couldn’t halt losses for the benchmark on Friday.