Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Markets hit as debt concerns worsen

Investors were unquestionably nervous on Monday. Bloomberg reports:

Global stocks sank the most in two months, while the euro touched an all-time low versus the Swiss franc and commodities plunged, amid signs Europe’s government- debt crisis is worsening and the economic recovery is slowing. Costs to protect Greek debt from default surged to a record.

The MSCI All-Country World Index sank 1.8 percent at 4:30 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated 1.2 percent and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slid 3.3 percent. Ten-year bond yields reached euro-era records in Greece and Ireland and climbed in Portugal, Spain and Italy. The euro fell below $1.40 for the first time since March as the dollar strengthened versus all 16 major peers. Oil and copper lost at least 2.4 percent.

U.S. equities followed European shares lower after Italy’s credit-rating outlook was cut by S&P on May 20 and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist party suffered losses in local elections amid a backlash over austerity measures...

The Chicago Fed national index, which draws on 85 economic indicators, was minus 0.45 in April versus 0.32 in March. A reading of less than zero indicates below-trend growth in the national economy and a sign of easing inflation pressures.

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