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Markets Right Now: Dow down 800 as stocks sink steadily

11 February, 2018, 05:03 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Asian markets in turmoil as Wall Street slides

The up-and-down swings followed a drop of 10 percent from the latest record highs set by major USA indexes just two weeks ago. When the 2008 Global Financial Crisis had broken out, it lost almost 70% of its peak, closing at 10,676.28 on October 27, 2008.

The Dow Jones industrials are down 500 points, extending the market's losses.

It was the second time in history that the Dow has lost more than 1,000 points in a single day. Even after this week's losses, the S&P 500 index is up 12.5 percent over the past year.

As of Thursday, some $2.49 trillion in value had vanished from the index since its most recent peak on January 26, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

JPMorgan Asset Management's chief market strategist Tai Hui said investors were focusing on US inflation data due next week for clues on what to do next.

"In the absence of recession, a deep bear market is unlikely", he said.

Elsewhere in Asia, Seoul's Kospi fell 1.6 percent to 2,370.34 points and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.9 percent to 5,837.10.

The Dow gained 330.44 points, or 1.4 percent, to 24,190.90.

At one point, both were down more than 6 percent.

Technology companies accounted for most of the broad gains, outweighing losses in energy stocks, which slumped as US crude prices declined, sending the price of oil below $60 a barrel for the first time this year.

An increase in consumer prices could warrant as many as four rate hikes by year's end, said Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in CHU. Its shares sank $19.03, or 15.5 percent, to $104. The European markets were up and the USA bourses were down - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.2 percent, while France's CAC 40 lost 1.4 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.5 percent.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with investors likely to remain skittish following heavy losses earlier this week.

A man walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday.

The week had started badly after last Friday's strong United States jobs report that also showed rising U.S. wage growth, increasing speculation the Federal Reserve will lift rates more than the three times already expected this year.

Investors anxious rising wages will hurt corporate profits and could signal an increase in inflation that could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace, putting a brake on the economy.

On Wall Street, many companies that rose the most over the a year ago have borne the brunt of the selling.

Financial analysts regard corrections as a normal market event but say the unusually abrupt plunge might have been triggered by a combination of events that rattled investors.

But investors are anxious about inflation and the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates faster than previously anticipated in order to rein it in.

The market, now in its second-longest bull run of all time, had not seen a correction for two years, an unusually long time.

Worries about inflation set the market rout in motion last Friday, and many market watchers have been predicting a pullback after the market's relentless march higher over the past year.

The Nikkei is now down more than 11% from its peak in late January. Shanghai dived 4.1 percent to seven-month lows. The housing industry is solid. And major economies around the world are growing in tandem for the first time since the Great Recession. The dollar fell to as low as 108.50 yen from nearly 110 yen the day before, hit by a weak sale of USA bonds, which jacked their yield back close to four-year highs. Wednesday's lack of direction suggests that stocks remain overbought after a recent rally powered by tax breaks. Many investors justified that by pointing out that interest rates were low and few alternatives looked like better investments.

Trading floors have been awash with red in February on fears that the booming global economy and rising inflation will lead to higher interest rates.


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