Stocks Slip on Asian Economic Worries

Retail stocks fell on Wall Street and in Europe.

Retail stocks fell on Wall Street today as investors worried anew about slowing growth in Asia.


The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.3 percent, or 1.75 points, to 671.05, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a slightly milder decline, retreating 0.2 percent, or 26.50 points, to 13,583.65.


Among those losing ground were Perry Ellis International Inc., down 3.2 percent to $21.30; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 2.7 percent to $10.67; Quiksilver Inc., 2 percent to $3.40; G-III Apparel Group Ltd., 1.9 percent to $36.48, and Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., 1.8 percent to $10.33.


Markets were weighed down by a World Bank Group report predicting economic growth in the East Asia and Pacific region would slow to 7.2 percent this year from 8.2 percent in 2011.


The organization said growth in the region would then recover to 7.6 percent in 2013. It also forecast that China’s GDP will grow by 7.7 percent this year, compared with the 9.3 percent expansion it recorded last year, due to “weak exports and lower investment growth.”


European stocks were also feeling the pinch. The FTSE MIB in Milan dipped 2 percent to 15,562.00, while the CAC 40 in Paris slipped 1.5 percent to 3,406.53 and the DAX in Frankfurt lost 1.4 percent to 7,291.21.


However, the FTSE 100 in London managed to edge up 0.2 percent to 5,841.74.


Fashion, luxury and retail stocks mirrored the markets with most stocks losing ground. The decliners included Ferragamo, down 1.8 percent to 16.59 euros; Aeffe, 2.8 percent to 0.58 euros; Metro, 3 percent to 20.82 euros, and Compagnie Financiere Richemont, 1.9 percent to 57.50 Swiss francs.


The few gainers included PPR, up 2 percent to 124.15 euros, and Inditex, which gained 0.7 percent to 100.65 euros. Marcolin shot up 6.7 percent to 4.85 euros, following reports that the Italian eyewear company is in talks with the private equity firm Pai Partners to sell a majority stake in its business.


The euro traded for $1.26 against the dollar, while the pound traded for $1.56 and the Swiss franc for $1.05.