Wall St slides on weak commodities

COMMODITY related stocks drove Wall Street lower yesterday as stiff declines in energy and metals prices underscored investor concerns about global economic weakness and Europe’s festering debt crisis.

The down draft, which comes after three days of gains, put the S&P 500 on course for its worst quarter since the depths of the financial crisis in fourth quarter of 2008.

The S&P materials sector fell 3.7 per cent as copper futures skidded nearly seven per cent and Brent crude resumed its downward trend, falling more than $2m (£1.3m) in afternoon trade. Energy stocks fell two per cent while gold prices fell 1.5 per cent.

In the wider market the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.74 perc cent, to 11,107.32 and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.17 per cent to 1,161.67.