Global stock markets started the week on a sour note with investors concerned that Spain will require more financial help to overcome its debt problems.
Equities, bonds and euro, which recorded a fresh two-year low against the dollar, were hit hard with growing fears that the financial firewall Europe has built up to deal with its debt crisis is insufficient.
Spain’s 10-year borrowing rate rose 0.23 percentage points on Monday to 7.45 per cent — its highest level since the euro was established in 1999 and above the level that prompted the other three countries to seek an international rescue.
The single European currency was also under pressure, trading 0.3 percent lower at $1.2122. Earlier it had fallen to $1.2081, its lowest level since June 2010. The euro has also fallen to a near 12-year low against the yen.
The stock markets in Spain and Italy were faring worst of all with Madrid’s IBEX down four per cent while Milan’s FTSE MIB fell five per cent. Though Spain is at the forefront of concerns at the moment, investors are worried that Italy will be back in the spotlight soon. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 2.09 per cent at 5,533.87 points while Germany’s DAX fell 3.18 per cent to 6,419.33 points. The CAC-40 in France was 2.89 per cent lower at 3,101.53 points.
Gulf markets fall
Stock markets in the Arabian Gulf also followed the global trend, as investors were concerned about the eurozone debt crisis. Weak oil prices on demand concerns further weighed on the regional sentiment.
Dubai’s shares fell the most in more than seven weeks as the benchmark index ended 1.48 per cent lower at 1,493.36 points, the most since June 3. Abu Dhabi’s market fell 0.12 per cent at 2,468.80 points.
In other Gulf markets, Kuwait’s benchmark index declined 0.5 per cent to 5,813.07 points and Doha ended 0.2 down at 8,263.82 points. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Shares Index dropped 0.88 per cent and Bahrain’s measure fell 0.13 per cent.
Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.9 per cent to 8,508.32 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dived three per cent to 19,053.47 points. China’s Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.3 per cent to 2,141.40 points. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.8 per cent to 1,789.44 points.
The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensitive Index also fell 1.6 per cent to 16,877.35 points in line with other markets.