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European stocks tumble on emerging currency turmoil

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Europe's main stock markets tumbled on Friday as investors were spooked by a renewed bout of turbulence in emerging market currencies and weak Chinese manufacturing.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day down 1.62 percent at 6,663.74 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 dropped 2.48 percent to 9,392.02 points and the CAC 40 in Paris fell 2.79 percent to 4,161.47 points.

Milan lost 2.3 percent and Madrid tanked 3.6 percent as numerous Spanish companies have investments in Argentina, whose currency plunged over 11 percent on Thursday in its worst single-day fall in more than a decade.

"European markets fell flat on their faces as the emerging market currency rout continued, with the Argentine peso, Indian rupee, Turkish lira and South African rand all amongst the worst decliners, as economic growth concerns start to spread out beyond China," said market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK.

Asian stock markets slid on Friday, extending the previous day's losses over the first fall in Chinese manufacturing activity in six months.

Japan's Nikkei share index suffered another bruising day on Friday after the yen rallied against the dollar in New York as investors looked for safer investments.

Tokyo's main shares index tumbled 1.94 percent, Sydney fell 0.42 percent and Seoul lost 0.36 percent.

US stocks also slumped, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.10 percent to 16,019.49 points in midday trading.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.16 percent to 1,807.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.54 percent to 4,153.89.

"Uncertainty has gripped the market, and when uncertainty does that, there is a tendency to sell first and ask questions later, particularly when the market is coming off a quarter in which it gained 10 percent," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Emerging currencies rattled

In foreign exchange activity, the European single currency fell to $1.3677 from $1.3695 in New York late on Thursday.

The British pound fell to 1.2058 euros from 1.2148 and $1.6485 from $1.6638.

The currencies of a number of emerging markets beside Argentina also came under pressure.

The ruble hit a record low against the euro on Friday and reached its weakest point against the dollar in nearly five years amid eroding confidence in Russia's teetering economy.

The euro broke through its record strong point of 47.25 against the Russia currency in late Friday afternoon trading to reach 47.35 before retreating in the closing hours.

The Turkish lira dived through the key barrier of 2.3 to the dollar on Friday despite massive central bank intervention on foreign exchange markets the day before, hitting a new record low of 2.3360 against the greenback before recovering slightly.

In South Africa, the rand hit its weakest level in five years, breaking through the symbolic 11 rand to the dollar level, amid a new wave of strikes.

The Federal Reserve's reduction of the amount of monetary stimulus to the US economy has rippled across global markets.

Much of the stimulus money ended up in emerging economies chasing higher returns, and as investors pull back it has hit the value of currencies and exposed weaknesses in their economies.

"With expectations rising that the Fed will continue to taper next week, de-risking is continuing to see capital flow into safer havens with gold, the Japanese yen and the US dollar the main gainers," said Hewson.

Gold prices rose to $1,267 an ounce from $1,263 Thursday on the London Bullion Market.

Europe’s main stock markets tumbled on Friday as investors were spooked by a renewed bout of turbulence in emerging market currencies and weak Chinese manufacturing.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day down 1.62 percent at 6,663.74 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 dropped 2.48 percent to 9,392.02 points and the CAC 40 in Paris fell 2.79 percent to 4,161.47 points.

Milan lost 2.3 percent and Madrid tanked 3.6 percent as numerous Spanish companies have investments in Argentina, whose currency plunged over 11 percent on Thursday in its worst single-day fall in more than a decade.

“European markets fell flat on their faces as the emerging market currency rout continued, with the Argentine peso, Indian rupee, Turkish lira and South African rand all amongst the worst decliners, as economic growth concerns start to spread out beyond China,” said market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK.

Asian stock markets slid on Friday, extending the previous day’s losses over the first fall in Chinese manufacturing activity in six months.

Japan’s Nikkei share index suffered another bruising day on Friday after the yen rallied against the dollar in New York as investors looked for safer investments.

Tokyo’s main shares index tumbled 1.94 percent, Sydney fell 0.42 percent and Seoul lost 0.36 percent.

US stocks also slumped, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.10 percent to 16,019.49 points in midday trading.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.16 percent to 1,807.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.54 percent to 4,153.89.

“Uncertainty has gripped the market, and when uncertainty does that, there is a tendency to sell first and ask questions later, particularly when the market is coming off a quarter in which it gained 10 percent,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Emerging currencies rattled

In foreign exchange activity, the European single currency fell to $1.3677 from $1.3695 in New York late on Thursday.

The British pound fell to 1.2058 euros from 1.2148 and $1.6485 from $1.6638.

The currencies of a number of emerging markets beside Argentina also came under pressure.

The ruble hit a record low against the euro on Friday and reached its weakest point against the dollar in nearly five years amid eroding confidence in Russia’s teetering economy.

The euro broke through its record strong point of 47.25 against the Russia currency in late Friday afternoon trading to reach 47.35 before retreating in the closing hours.

The Turkish lira dived through the key barrier of 2.3 to the dollar on Friday despite massive central bank intervention on foreign exchange markets the day before, hitting a new record low of 2.3360 against the greenback before recovering slightly.

In South Africa, the rand hit its weakest level in five years, breaking through the symbolic 11 rand to the dollar level, amid a new wave of strikes.

The Federal Reserve’s reduction of the amount of monetary stimulus to the US economy has rippled across global markets.

Much of the stimulus money ended up in emerging economies chasing higher returns, and as investors pull back it has hit the value of currencies and exposed weaknesses in their economies.

“With expectations rising that the Fed will continue to taper next week, de-risking is continuing to see capital flow into safer havens with gold, the Japanese yen and the US dollar the main gainers,” said Hewson.

Gold prices rose to $1,267 an ounce from $1,263 Thursday on the London Bullion Market.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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