On worries about the global economy

World stocks extend slide; sterling falters

GMT 13:08 2016 Wednesday ,24 February

Arab Today, arab today World stocks extend slide; sterling falters

Around midday across the eurozone, leading indices were down more than 2%
Hong Kong - Arab Today

World stock markets slumped once more Wednesday and the pound sterling hit near seven-year lows on worries about the global economy and Britain's potential exit from the EU.

Falls to oil prices heaped additional pressure on financial markets.

Around midday across the eurozone, leading indices were down more than 2.0 percent, while in London the FTSE shed 1.3 percent.

"Eurozone indices are going to suffer under the same Brexit fears currently plaguing the pound and the FTSE," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex trading group.

The pound slumped to $1.3913 at one point -- the lowest level since March 2009.

As Britain prepares for a June 23 referendum on its EU future, British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that the country's departure from the European Union would threaten its economic and national security.

But London Mayor and Conservative rival Boris Johnson has dealt a blow by backing a "Brexit" despite Cameron winning a deal on EU reforms.

The pound has been struggling for some time.
"Unsurprisingly, the concerns for the global economy have continued to have disastrous consequences for the pound, which often performs poorly in a risk-off environment," said Phil McHugh at trading group Currencies Direct.

"Global risk sentiment has taken another swing lower as a slump in Asian and Chinese equities shadowed a similar decline in the US," he said, pointing also to falling oil prices as contributing to the weak sentiment.

Crude has resumed its decline after Iran's oil minister called a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to maintain production levels "ridiculous", as it seeks to boost output after years of sanctions-constrained sales.

Analysts warned that current market turmoil was unlikely to ease in the short term.  

- G20 meeting -

Asian bourses earlier tracked losses in global markets, with Tokyo stocks weighed down by the strength of the yen which is seen as a haven asset.

US and European markets had been battered Tuesday after a closely-watched report rated German business confidence in February at the lowest level since December 2014, and Wall Street fell more than one percent overnight.
ut Shanghai closed up almost one percent Wednesday, reversing losses from earlier in the day, on expectations of economic reform pledges at an upcoming annual meeting of lawmakers.

Ahead of a meeting of G20 finance ministers' and central bank chiefs starting Friday in Shanghai, there have been calls for increased fiscal support as authorities grapple with reduced monetary leeway. Japan and the eurozone have already seen negative interest rates.

- Key figures around 1100 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 1.3 percent at 5,886 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 2.3 percent at 9,197

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 2.0 percent at 4,152.5

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 2.1 percent at 2,826.2

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.85 percent at 15,915.8 points  (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.88 percent at 2,928.9 points (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.15 percent to 19,192.5 points (close)

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.1 percent at 16,431.8 points (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1008 from $1.1029 on Tuesday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.96 yen from 112.91 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.4111 from $1.4148
Source :AFP

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