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Stocks slump worldwide on eco woes

Dwindling economic readings sparked fresh fears about the health of global markets.

Global stocks went into a tailspin today as a slew of disappointing economic readings from developed as well as developing nations spooked investors.

From Tokyo to London,fresh fears about the health of global economy rattled stock markets that slid two per cent. Most of the Asian and European markets wobbled from morning trade itself,taking cues from the overnight rout on the Wall Street.

South Korea’s Kospi index (which tumbled 2.21 per cent to 1,847.39 points) led the fall in Asia,followed by Hong Kong benchmark index Hang Seng that dropped 1.40 per cent to 18,995.13 points.

Slowing manufacturing activities in China,Europe and the US in addition to Moody’s downgrade of more than a dozen global banks soured sentiment among investors. Mounting concerns over the European debt turmoil and the US Federal Reserve’s decision on Wednesday to hold back major stimulus measures continues to hang over markets worldwide.

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In Asia,another major loser was Australia’s key S&P/ASX 200 index that shed about one per cent at 4,048.21 points. Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 closed marginally lower at 8,798.35 points.

However,Indian benchmark 30-share Sensex managed to recover early losses and ended the day marginally down at 16,972.51 points.

Without any visible economic silver lines,European shares too were in the red in early trade. London Stock Exchange FTSE 100 fell about one per cent to 5,521.52 points while the Germany’s Dax index declined similarly to 6,299.02 points. French index Cac 40 was tad lower at 3,098.62 points. With the debt crisis persisting,investors would now be waiting for the European Union leaders’ summit next week to understand the next course of action to revive the region. On Thursday night,the US market witnessed one of the worst trading sessions. Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly two per cent to 12,573.57 points while the broader S&P 500 crashed 2.23 per cent to 1,325.51 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 2.44 per cent to 2,859.09 points.

First published on: 22-06-2012 at 07:48:03 pm
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