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Stock markets retreat further

Europe's main stock markets fell further on Friday, but not as steeply as in Asia and a day earlier on Wall Street, as traders continue to bank profits following recent surges for equity prices worldwide.

Around 1000 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.4 percent compared with the closing level on Thursday.

In the Eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index and the Paris CAC 40 also shed 0.4 percent in value.

“US futures are up at the moment, which is providing some comfort for European markets. But this has been the typical start to many trading days this week, so there is limited trust in what might happen through to the US close,” Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, told AFP.

The current “extreme volatility is providing short-term active traders with huge opportunities, and risks. For long term buy-and-hold investors, sticking with… investments over the coming weeks could be something of an emotional roller-coaster ride”, the expert said.

Catching up with more sharp losses in New York and Europe on Thursday, Asian trading floors were a sea of red Friday, with concerns about tighter interest rates, particularly in the United States.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai were among the worst hit as investors piled into haven assets such as gold and the yen.

The sell-off followed another battering for Wall Street, where the Dow on Thursday suffered its second-heaviest daily points fall on record — the worst coming on Monday — after key US Treasury bond yields spiked on the likelihood of a number of rates rises this year.

After a blistering 2017 and January, markets worldwide have gone into a spasm in the past two weeks on fears that stronger growth and rising inflation will lift borrowing costs at a faster pace than expected.

Japan's Nikkei stock index fell 2.3 percent on Friday and is now at levels not seen since mid-October, while Hong Kong dropped 3.1 percent, wiping out its 2018 gains. Shanghai dived 4.1 percent to lows last touched in mid-2017 – AFP/APP

Posted on: 2018-02-09T15:58:00+05:00
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