By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Stocks around the globe were closing in on their biggest drop in two weeks as soft Chinese data hit demand for risky assets while oil prices weakened again on Friday.
U.S. stocks were broadly lower, with energy shares falling more than 1 percent as benchmark Brent crude touched a six-month low and U.S. crude fell below $60 for the first time since March after entering a bear market on Thursday.
Data from China added to the downward pressure, showing factory-gate inflation slowed for the fourth month in October on cooling domestic demand and manufacturing activity.
On the U.S. side, producer prices rose more than expected in October and at their fastest pace in six years. But measures of underlying price pressure cooled, bolstering the view that the U.S. central bank is not facing a resurgence in inflation.
European shares dipped as mining and oil stocks sold off, but they managed to end the week with a small gain.
“You have all this data coming in and you have a lot of cross currents. We are in the midst of that peaking process for growth in the United States and we don´t know where things settle out with regards to the euro zone,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 239.43 points, or 0.91 percent, to 25,951.79, the S&P 500 lost 36.54 points, or 1.30 percent, to 2,770.29 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 162.14 points, or 2.15 percent, to 7,368.75.
Equities snapped a streak of seven straight days of gains on Thursday after the U.S.