US stocks fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, pushing the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial average back into negative territory for the year, as the slide in Chinese markets spurred concerns over its impact on global economic growth. The decline in US stocks pushed the Nasdaq Composite index to its lowest level in two months and the S&P 500 index to its lowest level in over four months. Concerns over China and Greece had pushed the Dow into negative territory briefly on Tuesday.
US stocks rose on Thursday as trading returned to normal at the New York Stock Exchange and Beijing's efforts to halt a rout in Chinese stocks lifted markets around the world. US stocks had fallen sharply on Wednesday as market turmoil in China, a rout in commodity prices, the Greek crisis and a major outage on the New York Stock Exchange spooked investors. While the NYSE resumed operations late in the trading day on Wednesday, all eyes were on the exchange to see if its systems would withstand heavy opening trade volumes.
Employment in Japan's once-mighty manufacturing sector has fallen below 10 million for the first time in five decades, as a new government vows to stoke the struggling economy. Official employment data released Friday showed the number of workers in Japanese industry, which fuelled the country's stratospheric rise from the ashes of World War II, slipped to 9.98 million in December. That is the lowest level since 1961 as firms slash costs and ship manufacturing jobs to lower-cost nations overseas.