Global stock markets fall sharply

Global markets fell dramatically on Monday as worries about rising inflation and slowing Chinese export growth fueled worries about the health of the global economy.

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific markets, Europe and the United States all fell as investors worried about slowing global growth as central banks hike interest rates to combat rising inflation.

The FTSE 100 slipped 2.32 percent, or 171 points, to 7,216 on Monday in London, its lowest level in eight weeks, with mining companies among the losers. The Nikkei 225 index in Japan had previously fallen 2.5 percent.

European stocks had fallen to a two-month low by the close of trading, down 2.9 percent. The S&P 500 index fell 3.2 percent on Wall Street in New York, to its lowest level after the longest stretch of weekly losses in more than a decade. The tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 4.29 percent as investors earlier sold off hot tech stocks.

Commodities fell, with copper prices in London falling to their lowest level since mid-December at $9,160 (£7,440) a tonne. Aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin prices fell on concerns that China’s trade restrictions are reducing manufacturing output.

Emerging market equities fell to their lowest levels since June 2020 as China’s flagging economy amplified the impact of rising global interest rates and the ongoing disruption from the Ukraine war.

Li Keqiang, China’s premier, warned that the country’s employment situation is “complicated and dire,” urging government agencies and regions to prioritize measures to preserve and keep jobs. It raised concerns that China’s economic restrictions are having a negative impact.

Fresh US Treasury sales also pushed the 10-year Treasury bond yield to its highest level since November 2018. When prices fall, yields rise.

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Callan Tansill

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