Global markets fell on Wednesday, under pressure from rising US-China tension and concerns over the timeline for reopening economies during the coronavirus pandemic.
- London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.9 per cent in opening trading, as stocks across Europe lost ground.
- The Stoxx 600 index, which offers a snapshot of the region’s largest companies, was down 1.3 per cent.
- Asian stocks were mixed after a poor showing on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 snapped a six-day run of gains to close 2.1 per cent lower.
- China’s benchmark CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed stocks gained 0.2 per cent.
- Japan’s Topix index shed 0.1 per cent.
- Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index rose 0.1 per cent.
- The yield on US government debt fell as investors moved into safer assets.
- The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell 0.036 percentage points to 0.657 per cent.
- Sterling was little moved by official data showing the UK economy shrank at the fastest monthly pace on record in March, and was recently flat against the US dollar at $1.2264.
The recent rally in oil prices also fizzled out on Wednesday.
- US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 1.7 per cent at $25.32 a barrel.
- A day earlier WTI gained almost 7 per cent after the American Petroleum Institute reported that inventories at the key storage facility of Cushing, Oklahoma, had fallen by more than 2m barrels.
- Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 2.8 per cent to $29.11.