NEW YORK Nov 14 U.S.-listed shares of foreign companies fell on Wednesday, weighed down amid economic concerns caused by the looming "fiscal cliff" in the United States and the euro zone's debt woes.
Macroeconomic issues remain at the core of investor focus, primarily the series of large, mandated, U.S. tax hikes and spending cuts that start to take effect next year which could send the world's largest economy into a recession unless legislators can reach an agreement.
The euro zone also remains problematic for investors, with strikes across southern Europe on Wednesday in protest of spending cuts and tax hikes used to combat the region's debt crisis.
The BNY Mellon index of leading American depositary receipts was off 0.6 percent, on pace for its sixth straight decline since U.S. elections, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index had lost 0.5 percent.
The BNY Mellon index of leading European ADRs shed 0.4 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed down 1 percent down at 1,088.43 points.
U.S.-listed shares of Panasonic Corp were down 2.1 percent at $4.74 after the Japanese electronics group's finance chief said about a fifth of the company's 88 business units are losing money and only half so far meet a target for at least 5 percent operating margin.
Sony Corp stumbled 8.6 percent to stand at $9.84 in early afternoon trade, after the company said it will raise 150 billion yen ($1.9 billion) through a sale of convertible bonds, a third of which will be used for investment in Olympus Corp.
The BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs was down 0.8 percent.
Economic data showed that economic activity in Brazil contracted in September for the first time since March weighed on commodity-related ADR's in Latin America.
Metals producer Vale slipped 0.6 percent to $17.59 while oil and gas company Petrobras lost 2.3 percent to $19.62.
The BNY Mellon index of leading Latin American ADRs declined 1 percent.