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Gloomy US data casts shadow on markets

Markets closed lower and futures are glum as investors digest gloomy US economic data.
Gloomy US data casts shadow on markets Gloomy US data casts shadow on markets Gloomy US data casts shadow on markets Gloomy US data casts shadow on markets Gloomy US data casts shadow on markets

Delivery man Lenny outside the New York Stock Exchange this week

Staff reporter

The latest retail sales and factory output reports showing declines "were the most solid pieces of evidence yet that the economy was in deep recession and potentially at risk of a depression," Reuters reported.

The data comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally has risen above 2 million, according to tracking by the Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile Chinese steel exports jumped in March.

The net steel exports of 5.34 million tonnes was a 79% increase on a daily basis versus the very low, combined January/February figure, although flat year-on-year, Jefferies analyst Alan Spence said in a note. 

Inventories were slowly destocking but remained unsustainably high, he said.

The gold price is lower than this point yesterday, at US$1,715 an ounce on the spot market.

Among the mining majors, Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) lost 4% in London yesterday.

Gold major Newmont (NYSE: NEM) closed down 2.79% in New York.

Finally, BHP was flat in early Australian trade.