American markets finished flat after European exchanges gained slightly and Asian equities fell sharply on news that China may seek to curb lending and tighten monetary policy. U.S. stocks were approaching a triple digit gain in early afternoon trading before barely sliding into negative territory to finish the day, marking the 5th drop in the past seven days.
The ETFdb 60 Index lost 5.38 points, or 0.5%, to close at 1,016.81, its lowest level of the year. Losers outnumbered winners by more than three-to-one on Tuesday, and 11 components lost more than 1% on the day.
Among the biggest losers today was the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which sank 4.0% in Tuesday trading. The decrease was attributed to revised weather forecasts predicting normal or above average temperatures for much of the continental U.S. for the rest of January and into February. This combined with robust supply levels and solid inventories sent the fund down sharply again today.
One of the few winners today was UPP which finished the day up 0.4%. This comes after investor fears regarding the scope of China’s monetary policy decisions and weakness in the euro and other major currencies, which allowed the dollar to gain broadly against most markets. The lone exception was the Japanese yen, which further strengthened against the dollar pushing the exchange rate down below 90 yen.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.