Stocks slide as retail sales fall in May

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Stocks slide as retail sales fall in May

NEW YORK, New York - U.S retail sales fell 1.1 percent last month, triggering major stock market falls.

While investors were encouraged that the retail figures indicate that inflation is dipping, they also stoke fears of a recession.

Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina, told Reuters Wednesday that consumers are likely to retrench during a time of economic uncertainty.

The trajectory for the economy is weak and recession risks are rising for 2023, according to Roach.

The Dow Jones industrials suffered the most damage, dropping 613.89 points or 1.81 percent to close Wednesday at 33,296. The Standard and Poor's 500 retreated by 62.11 points or 1.56 percent to 3,928. The U.S. dollar was volatile on the day, losing ground early only to reverse losses and finish strongly. The euro, which had jumped to a new recent high of 1.0887 earlier in the day, fell to a close Wednesday around 1.0790.

The British pound was soared to 1.2436 before sellers overtook it down to 1.2336.

The Japanese yen had a topsy turvy day, hitting a high of 127.56 and a low of 131.57. The Japanese currency was steady at 128.80 around the New York close Wednesday.

The Swiss franc increased to 0.9163. The Canadian dollar weakened sharply to 1.3492 after missing an invitation to the party.

The New Zealand dollar was higher at 0.6431.

The FTSE 100 in London fell by 20.33 points or 0.26 percent to 7,830. The German Dax dropped 5.27 points or 0.03 percent to 15,181. The Paris-based CAC 40 added 6.23 points or 0.09 percent to 7,083. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 652.44 points or 2.50 percent to 26,791. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong increased by 100.36 points or 0.47 percent to 21,678. China's Shanghai Composite was up just 0.16 of a single point at 3,224, up just 0.16 of a single point. The Singapore Straits Times index was up 9.04 points or 0.28 percent to 3,289. The Australian All Ordinaries rose 11.90 points or 0.16 percent to 7,609. The S&P NZX 50 in New Zealand rose 39.41 points or 0.33 percent to 11,920.