NEW YORK, Sept 4 Baidu Inc was a standout in an otherwise lackluster market for overseas shares on Tuesday after China's largest search engine said it will invest more than $1.6 billion to set up a cloud computing center.
Shares of Baidu, which unveiled its mobile Internet browser at its annual conference in Beijing, gained 2.8 percent. The company is pushing deep into cloud computing as the heart of its mobile strategy in order to capitalise on the booming sector.
Cloud computing is a term used to describe data storage and processing done on the Web.
The wider market came under pressure as data showed U.S. manufacturing shrank at the sharpest clip in more than three years last month, more evidence the global economy is slowing as the euro zone debt crisis continues to overhang markets.
"Many businesses are not only dealing with a moderation in order growth, led by weakness overseas but also very little visibility on how things will turn out economically particularly in Europe and with the US election," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist and portfolio manager at Miller Tabak in New York.
The BNY Mellon index of leading American depositary receipts fell 0.7 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.1 percent.
Strength in Baidu was not enough to cushion the Asian ADR index, which fell on weakness in major Chinese stocks such as China Mobile, down 0.5 percent to $52.40 and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, down 3 percent to $91.38.
The BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs fell 1.2 percent and the BNY Mellon index of leading Latin American ADRs lost 1.4 percent.
Hong Kong shares on Tuesday fell to their lowest close in over a month. Plays on the global economy were among the bigger losers.
Strength in some defensive sectors that fare better than the rest of the market when the economy is weak helped European shares. Distributors and manufacturers of alcoholic drinks Anheuser-Busch InBev and Diageo rose nearly 1.5 to 2 percent.
The BNY Mellon index of leading European ADRs fell 0.4 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed up 1.1 percent.