Pause in rally on Wall Street

After a quick succession of gains, the US stock market is mixed today, as investors pause for a breather.

Dow component Proctor &Gamble today revised its sales and earnings guidance lower for 2014, as a result of the weakening of various emerging market currencies.

P&G is the world’s largest producer of packaged household goods with its products sold in literally hundreds of countries; the currencies from so many developing territories having devalued sharply recently means that the profits in those currencies now have lower dollar-values.

The company now forecasts core earnings growing at a pace of 3 to 5% compared with previous guidance of 5 to 7%. This has seen its share price drop 1.4% today, which has weighed on the Dow more than the other leading US stock index benchmarks.

By early afternoon in New York, the Dow was down just 0.09%, compared to a 0.08% gain for the S&P 500.

The slides in emerging-market currencies were sparked by concerns over Chinese economic growth after a report last month showed a contraction in Chinese manufacturing levels, but some reassurance came today with the news that Chia’s trade surplus climbed to $31.9bn in January, helped by a 10.6% year-on-year increase in exports, which was higher than expected and will raise hopes that global demand remains strong.    

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