Alexa

US economic concerns dog world markets

 People walk by the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average climbed 258.01 po...
 People wait for a traffic signal to change in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The benchm...
 A man jogs past the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average climbed 258.01 p...
 Women watch the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday, July 15, 2010. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average dropped 109.71 points,...
 A man is reflected on the share prices board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, July 16, 2010. Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as Japan's ben...
 A man looks at the share prices board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, July 16, 2010. Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as Japan's benchmark ...
 A man watches the share prices board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, July 16, 2010. Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as Japan's benchmark N...

Japan World Markets

People walk by the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average climbed 258.01 po...

Japan World Markets

People wait for a traffic signal to change in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The benchm...

Japan World Markets

A man jogs past the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average climbed 258.01 p...

Japan World Markets

Women watch the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday, July 15, 2010. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average dropped 109.71 points,...

Japan World Markets

A man is reflected on the share prices board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, July 16, 2010. Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as Japan's ben...

Japan World Markets

A man looks at the share prices board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, July 16, 2010. Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as Japan's benchmark ...

Japan World Markets

A man watches the share prices board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, July 16, 2010. Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as Japan's benchmark N...

World stock markets fell Friday after another drop in U.S. inflation and a big slide in consumer sentiment reinforced fears that the U.S. economic recovery is slowing down sharply.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 42.68 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,168.61 while Germany's DAX fell 107.93 points, or 1.8 percent, to 6,041.43. The CAC-40 in France was 77.92 points, or 2.2 percent, lower at 3,503.90.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 165.52 points, or 1.6 percent, at 10,193.79 soon after the open while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19.43 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,077.05.
Wall Street had been expected to open fairly flat but that changed after the Commerce Department reported that consumer prices fell 0.1 percent during June, the third straight monthly decline. That pulled the annual inflation rate down to an eight-month low of 1.1 percent from 2.0 percent in May.
Lower inflation maybe be attractive to shoppers in the near-term but is a concern in the markets as it reinforces fears that demand in the U.S. economy is not recovering.
"The relatively low level of inflation in the U.S. indicates that there is still significant slack in the economy which has shown signs of worsening over recent months," said Shehan Mohamed, an economist at the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
Those worries were fanned further by a survey from the University of Michigan showing consumer sentiment falling to an 11-month low in the first part of July. The survey was released two days after government figures showed U.S. retail sales fell by more than anticipated. Both indicate that consumers are getting worried about their job and income prospects.
U.S. retail figures are particularly important because they shine a light on the state of consumption, a key driver of growth. U.S. retail spending accounts for around 70 percent of the world's largest economy.
The recent raft of downbeat U.S. data has had a big impact in the currency markets, where the euro briefly broke above $1.30 for the first time in over two months.
By mid-afternoon London time, the euro was 0.1 percent higher at $1.2941. Earlier in the session, the euro rose to a high of $1.3007, the first time it has breached the $1.30 level since May 10.
The euro has advanced over 10 cents against the dollar since hitting a four-year low of $1.1878 in early June on a combination of easing worries over Europe's sovereign debt crisis and concerns about the U.S. economic recovery.
Mark O'Sullivan, director of dealing at Currencies Direct, thinks the euro has further room to rise, provided next Friday's EU bank stress test are credible.
"The results will be very important in underlining confidence once gain in the eurozone and the euro may shed the fear factor and emerge once again as an attractive alternative to the dollar," said O'Sullivan.
Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index lost 277.17 points, or 2.9 percent, to 9,408.38, its biggest drop since June 7, amid concerns that the rising value of the yen will hurt Japanese exporters.
By mid afternoon London time, the dollar was down a further 1.1 percent at 86.45 yen.
"The Nikkei lost 2.9 percent with the impact of yen strength on exporters worrying investors ahead of a three day weekend in Japan," said Jane Foley, research director at Forex.com.
South Korea's Kospi shed 0.7 percent to 1,738.45, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.5 percent at 4,422.70 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.06 percent to 20,267.87.
Shanghai's Composite Index was steady at 2,424.27 after China said Thursday its gross domestic product expanded by 10.3 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, down from 11.9 percent growth in the first quarter.
Benchmark crude for August delivery was down 30 cents to $76.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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Associated Press Writer Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this story.


Updated : 2021-04-12 21:41 GMT+08:00