World stocks fell on Monday, with particularly heavy losses in emerging markets, as investors fretted about a coming wave of corporate earnings and confidence in a rapid global economic recovery faded.
Oil dipped briefly below $59 a barrel in a sell-off prompted by concern over a tailing off of demand if the economy stutters again.
I don't think we will see an economic recovery this year and ... earnings estimates are still too high, so there is room for disappointment, said Philippe Gijsels, senior equity strategist at Fortis Bank, in Brussels.
World stocks as measured by MSCI <.MIWD00000PUS> lost close to three quarters of a percent. The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent after hitting an 11-week low.
The slide was not arrested by Dutch conglomerate Philips Electronics surprising the market with a return to profit in the second quarter and saying it was hopeful of an upturn in business in the second half of 2009.
Emerging markets suffered more acutely, taking the MSCI sector index <.MSCIEF> down 2.2 percent. The sector has been the big winner as investors have banked on a recovering economy, so would likely unwind quicker if a major correction set in.
So far in the U.S. earnings season, two major U.S. companies had reported, giving investors mixed signals. Bellwether Alcoa reported a third consecutive quarterly loss, but beat estimates; oil major Chevron warned that second-quarter earnings would be hit by a decline in U.S. refining margins.
Among U.S. companies reporting this week are Goldman Sachs , JP Morgan , Bank of America , Citi , IBM , Google , Intel and GE .
European reports will come from Nokia , Alstom , Novartis and Pernod Ricard .
The dollar dipped 0.2 percent to 92.35 yen, inching back in the direction of a five-month low of 91.77 yen hit on trading platform EBS on Friday.
The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.3945
The theme is likely to continue to be whether risk can be taken or not, said Minoru Shioiri, chief manager for FX trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.
The dollar and yen have fallen broadly since March, as hopes grew that the worst of the global economic recession was over, boosting risk appetite and prompting investors to shift funds out of the safe-haven dollar and low-yielding yen into other currencies and assets.
But in recent weeks, market players have reversed the trend.
On euro zone government bond markets, the interest rate-sensitive two-year Schatz yield was steady at 1.21 percent.
(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash and Masayuki Kitano, editing by Mike Peacock)