In­sta­bil­ity con­tin­ues

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

There was lit­tle respite for eq­uity in­vestors on Thurs­day as the big­gest U.S. stock sell­off in months rolled through Asia and Europe and fu­tures pointed to an­other drop at the New York open. Amid cau­tious trad­ing, core Eu­ro­pean bonds gained and Trea­suries were steady.

The worst of the stock de­clines were in Asia, where China’s Shang­hai Com­pos­ite gauge closed down more than 5 per­cent. Tai­wan’s tech­nol­ogy-heavy TWSE In­dex plum­meted more than 6 per­cent in the re­gion’s worst per­for­mance. By com­par­i­son, Eu­ro­pean losses were more con­tained, with the Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex and Bri­tain’s FTSE 100 both slip­ping no more than 2 per­cent. Ital­ian eq­ui­ties headed for a bear mar­ket, how­ever, and LeasePlan Group NV pulled a planned IPO.

A gauge of eq­uity volatil­ity in Europe jumped to the high­est in more than four months af­ter Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” as the Cboe Volatil­ity In­dex, or VIX, is known, soared the most since Fe­bru­ary.

Else­where, West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude slumped back be­low $72 a bar­rel amid a broad de­cline in commodities. Precious met­als bucked the trend, and gold jumped. A Bloomberg in­dex of cryp­tocur­ren­cies dropped as much as 11 per­cent.

Fu­tures on the S&P 500 In­dex fell 0.7 per­cent as of 11:57 a.m. Lon­don time, hit­ting the low­est in 14 weeks with its sixth con­sec­u­tive de­cline. The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex sank 1.8 per­cent to the low­est in more than 20 months on the big­gest tum­ble in more than 15 weeks. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 In­dex sank 1.6 per­cent to the low­est in more than six months on the largest tum­ble in more than 15 weeks. Ger­many’s DAX In­dex de­creased 1.3 per­cent to the low­est in 20 months. The MSCI Asia Pa­cific In­dex sank 3.4 per­cent, hit­ting the low­est in al­most 17 months with its ninth con­sec­u­tive de­cline and the largest tum­ble in eight months. The MSCI Emerg­ing Mar­ket In­dex sank 3.2 per­cent, reach­ing the low­est in about 18 months on its sixth straight de­cline and the big­gest tum­ble in more than two years.

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