Stocks Down on Chinese Liquidity Concerns

U.S. retailers pare losses late in the day to finish down 1 percent.

Concerns about Chinese bank liquidity drove down stocks in Europe Monday while U.S. equities were able to escape the most severe selling pressures.

Down more than 2 percent at midday, the S&P 500 Retail Industry Group finished the day off 1 percent, or 7.35 points, at 765.56, running parallel to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, which respectively dropped 0.9 percent to 14,659.56 and 1.2 percent to 1,573.09.

Goldman Sachs Group cut its growth forecast for China amid concern banks in the world’s second-largest economy are facing a cash crunch with the prospects for government intervention uncertain at best.

Among fashion and retail stocks in the U.S., decliners outpaced gainers more thanfour to one. Among those advancing was Saks Inc., up 0.8 percent to $13.49 following WWD’s disclosure early Monday of Hudson Bay Co.’s interest in the department store group. The biggest gain among those advancing came from Revlon Inc., up 11.3 percent to $21.76.

Among those underperforming the U.S. retail market in general were Abercrombie & Fitch Co., down 5.4 percent to $43.46; L Brands Inc., down 4.3 percent to $49.29; The Jones Group Inc., down 3.7 percent to $13.38, and Ann Inc., down 3.6 percent to $30.91.

Reacting to the situation in China, which drove the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong down 2.2 percent to 19,813.98, European stocks fell for a fifth consecutive trading day, erasingtheir gains for the year. The FTSE 100 in London dropped 2.1 percent to 6,029.10, Paris’ CAC 40 slipped 1.7 percent to 3,595.62 and Frankfurt’s DAX contracted 1.2 percent to 7,692.45, while the FTSE MIB in Milan shrank 0.9 percent to 15,112.38.

The euro traded at $1.31 against the dollar, the pound was worth$1.51, while the Swiss franc fetched $1.07.

Retail and luxury stocks suffered similar losses, with the day’s biggest sell-offs including Gemfields, down 5.3 percent to 0.22 pounds; Asos.com, 4 percent to 38.87 pounds; Compagnie Financière Richemont, 3.3 percent to 76.80 Swiss francs, and Ferragamo, 2.8 percent to 22.05 euros.