Asian stocks were in the red, with enthusiasm about Wall Street's rally fading. European markets were mixed, as oil prices retreated.
Here are five things that matter for markets now:
- The Australian dollar hit a four-and-a-half year low on Tuesday on worries that a slowdown in China's economy will affect Australia. Prices of iron for construction fell in China amid weak demand from the property sector.
- Oil prices retreated early on Tuesday after opening higher on hopes of good U.S. economic data later in the day. Front-month U.S. WTI crude futures rose over a dollar to a session high of $56.85 a barrel before dipping back to $55.67 at 0745 GMT.
- The Russian government and the central bank put pressure on exporters to sell dollars, propping the ruble up. The Russian currency strengthened to a two-week high, despite warnings by former finance minister and Vladimir Putin ally Alexei Kudrin that the country faces a full-blown economic crisis. On Monday, Russian regulators took over a leading retail bank which was facing trouble as depositors rushed to take money out.
- NetJets, which is part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), has been suffering because of the slowdown in China, its CEO told Reuters. Less than three months after the company won regulatory approval to provide charter services in the country, business has slowed.
- The Bank of Spain raised its forecast for economic growth for this year slightly, to 1.4% from a previous 1.3%. In its economic bulletin, the Spanish central bank said consumer spending increased in the fourth quarter and that the economy was growing at a faster pace than in the third quarter.