Friday, 23 August, 2019

Dow Jones hit by worst fall since financial crisis of 2008

US stock impact GETTYThere are concerns a crash in the US could cause a financial downturn around the globe
Russell Knight | 07 February, 2018, 18:15

In the USA on Friday, Wall Street ended sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending down 2.5%, the S&P 500 down 2.1% and Nasdaq Composite closing 2.0% lower.

On its way there, the Dow took several harrowing turns during the day, opening with a plunge of 567 points - coincidentally, the exact same amount it wound up gaining at the closing bell.

Financials, which were badly hit during the sell-off, added the most points to the index. By Tuesday, it was once again slightly higher for 2018.

Investors swooped in after a steep fall. The Dow Jones closed on Friday (2 February) down by 2.54 per cent, while the S&P500 slipped by 2.12 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index by 1.96 per cent.

But a key USA jobs report on Friday, showing better-than-expected wage data, spooked sentiment because it raised the prospect of the U.S. central bank raising interest rates at a faster pace to cool inflation.

USA stock markets dived by 2% on opening on Tuesday but entered positive territory just minutes later.

Old Mutual, HSBC, Barclays, Prudential, Lloyds rose 2.9 percent, 1 percent, 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. The BATS 250 was down 1.3% at 17,930.92, and the BATS Small Companies down 0.3% at 12,490.07.

Big dividend companies including utility and real estate companies fell, as bond yields increased after a sharp drop on Monday.

The US slump - the Dow's biggest percentage fall in six years - followed a 665-point collapse on Friday - the sixth biggest fall of all time.

An upbeat jobs report in the U.S. on Friday fuelled speculation that interest rates could rise four times this year.

After trading opened in the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 fell straight into the red, as did other United Kingdom indices. 'We're always concerned when the market loses any value, but we're also confident in the economy's fundamentals, ' an official said.

"However once this kind of stampede starts it's hard to stop".

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Japanese shares were also down about 7 per cent at one point before ending 4.7 per cent lower, while markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan closed down about 5 per cent.

In mainland Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris was down 1.1% while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt was down 0.9% Monday midday.

Though many stock indexes are close to where they started the year, the losses mark a reversal of fortune following a sustained period of gains, a pullback that some market pros have been predicting for some time.

The turmoil in global stock markets has echoes with what's been going on with bitcoin, the hugely volatile virtual currency, which rose exponentially to around $20,000 a year ago before a precipitous slump.

Global markets have now fallen 10% from their highs, placing the stock market sell-off firmly in "correction" territory, though the drop is not yet heavy enough to be classed as a bear market. The S&P 500, for example, is one of the major fallers, was down 7.8 percent since its latest record high on January 26 as of Monday's close.

"Certainly there is a risk that yesterday's rally is a fake out before another selloff", said Neil Wilson, senior market analysts at ETX Capital, noting that USA futures were now trading in the red.

Despite the sea of red in global stock markets, there are hopes that the retreat won't last long given that global economic growth has picked up and the financial system is more robust since the financial crisis.

'At the end of previous year margin debt levels on U.S. stocks were at record highs, helping fuel the rise we've seen in the last few months, ' he said.

On Monday, the Dow finished down 4.6 percent while the S&P 500 sank 4.1 percent, to 2,648.94.

The FTSE 100 Index plunged 108.45 points to 7,334.98, as traders began pricing in the prospect of central banks enforcing tighter monetary policy in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Still, while some financial assets became more attractive to investors as perceived havens of value.

Express.co.uk will be bringing you the latest news and updates on the Dow Jones and global markets live here.

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