Stocks slid on Tuesday as rising political fears in Argentina and Italy, ongoing protests in Hong Kong, and a growth warning from Singapore spurred investors to drop riskier assets and flee to gold and other havens.
"You can take your pick from the smorgasbord of risks facing the world right now," said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com. "Risk assets are being hit as investors are rattled by civil strife in Hong Kong, the crash in the Argentine peso, and mounting doubts about the global economy."
Protests in Hong Kong over a proposed extradition bill, which would allow suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China for trial, forced the territory's airport to close on Monday. Investors are concerned about the economic fallout of the disruption and impact on industries such as banking and luxury. They're also wary of possible Chinese intervention.
Argentina's peso, Mervel stock market, and government bonds all plummeted after President Mauricio Macri was routed in primary elections. The upset fanned fears that a more protectionist government could take power following presidential elections in October.
Similarly, Italy's ruling coalition has splintered with nationalist leader Matteo Salvini calling for a confidence vote and elections. The Senate is set to determine the next step later today.
Singapore previously expected its economy to grow between 1.5% and 2.5% this year. It has slashed that forecast to between 0% and 1% growth, citing a weaker global growth outlook due to the US-China trade war and a downturn in the global electronics industry.
Here's the market roundup as of 10:20 a.m. (5:20 a.m. EST):
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