Friday, August 5, 2011

Global stocks tumble after Wall Street slide

Global stock markets tumbled Friday amid fears the U.S. may be heading back into recession and Europe's debt crisis is worsening. The sell-off follows the biggest one-day points decline on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis.
Oil extended sharp losses to fall below $84 a barrel amid expectations a slowing global economy will undermine demand for crude.
In Europe, major markets fell, adding to losses Thursday. London's FTSE 100 declined 3.5 percent to 5,393.14 and Germany's DAX shed 3.8 percent to 6,172.00. France's CAC-40 lost 2.5 percent to 3,238.80.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average slid 3.7 percent to 9,299.88 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dived 4.6 percent to 20,877.74. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.2 percent to 2,626.42.
"Losses today have been indiscriminate," said IG Markets strategist Ben Potter in a report. "The big question on everyone's mind is what will happen across European and US markets tonight and will there be any form of emergency policy response?"
The Dow closed Thursday down 512.76 points, at 11,383.68. It was the steepest point decline since Dec. 1, 2008.
Thursday's decline was the ninth-worst by points for the Dow. In percentage terms, the decline of 4.3 percent does not rank among the worst. On Black Monday in 1987, for example, the Dow fell 22 percent.
Investors fretted over the U.S. economic recovery ahead of Friday's release of crucial jobs figures for July, which often set the tone in markets for a week or two.
Many were also rattled by the lack of agreement in Europe about debt and how to stabilize the euro, said Tom Kaan of Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong. He said they were watching to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve launches a new stimulus effort.
"It's a general fear that is clouding the markets at the moment," Kaan said.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi sank 3.7 percent to 1,943.75 and Taiwan's benchmark skidded 5.6 percent to 7,853.13. Australia's benchmark dropped 4 percent to 4,105.40 and India's Sensex shed 2.8 percent to 17,196.06.
In China, state-owned oil producer CNOOC Ltd. plunged 7.7 percent. China Construction Bank Ltd., one of the country's four major state-owned banks, lost 2 percent and Ping An Insurance Ltd. declined 3.9 percent.More...

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