Saturday, 19 May 2012

Stocks decline, China home prices fall

Markets fell again on Friday.

The STOXX Europe 600 fell 1.1 percent to 238.88. It was down 5.2 percent for the week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent to 1,295.22, Facebook's market debut failing to give the overall market a lift. The index fell 4.3 percent for the week.

Commodities managed to edge up though, boosted by gains in wheat and gold. However, oil and copper both fell to multi-month lows.

While the recent weakness in markets has been driven by developments in Europe, there has been a longer-term decline in the prices of homes in China. New home prices in April fell on a year-on-year basis in 46 out of 70 cities in China while 43 cities saw declines in month-on-month terms.

Calculations by Reuters showed that average home prices in China fell 1.2 percent last month from a year earlier and 0.3 percent from the previous month, the seventh consecutive monthly decline.

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