World stock sell-off runs to $US4 trillion

World stock sell-off runs to $US4 trillion

But investors' optimism waned in the afternoon and most of the early gains were pared before the closing bell, with sectors such as marine transportation, food and construction falling into negative territories. S&P and Dow futures were both up less than 0.1 percent.

Only last month the Dow and SP500 index had their best monthly gains in two years with stocks reaching record levels on January 26, supported by the benefit of cut in US corporate taxes in December, rising earnings, and healthy global economic growth.

Asian investors typically take their cue from what share prices do in America, as many Asian countries still depend on the USA economy for growth. There hasn't been one in two years, and by many measures stocks have been looking expensive.

Monday's slump in USA stocks was a break from many months of relative steady gains and left market participants grappling with an implosion of products that bet against volatility.

The past week's stomach-churning stock market losses were ignited by a sudden and contagious fear of surging inflation and higher interest rates.

All Asian regional bourses were battered on Tuesday. Taiwan shares lost 5.0 percent, its biggest since in 2011 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 4.2 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index briefly dipped more than 7 percent and markets in Europe tumbled at the open, but investors seemed to be taking the gyrations in stride.

Germany's DAX closed up 1.60 per cent at 12,590.43. Panasonic is adding nearly 6 percent, Sony is gaining more than 4 percent, Canon is higher by more than 3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is advancing nearly 3 percent.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 3.4 percent. The VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV) and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY), products created to return the inverse of the VIX, saw their combined value shrink to $150 million from $3 billion in after-market trading, according to estimates from Macro Risk Advisors.

The fact that stock markets have largely recovered their poise since Monday's carnage is being viewed by some as proof that the drop was simply a healthy pullback from excessively high values.

A stronger yen is bad news for profits at big Japanese exporters.

"Since last autumn, investors had been betting on the goldilocks economy - solid economic expansion, improving corporate earnings and stable inflation".

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said he didn't want to comment on share prices.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 109.63 yen from 109.36 yen. One euro reached 1.2415 dollars, compared to 1.2459 dollars for one euro on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks saw considerable volatility over the course of the trading session on Tuesday before ending the day sharply higher. It also echoed fears investors have in the USA, where stronger wage growth has increased expectations of higher rates from the Federal Reserve.

Sydney rose 1.2 percent, Singapore climbed 0.8 percent and Seoul was marginally higher.

Only 2 S&P 500 stocks gained ground.

"Dow Jones" has followed other indexes.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, one of the largest consumer markets in the region, the EGX30 was trading 2 percent lower and the EGX50 was down 3 percent.

USA crude oil fell 1.2 percent to settle at $63.39 a barrel, while Brent dropped 1.1 percent to settle at $66.86.

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, notes that the rally over the last couple of years has been 'very strong and without any corrections of note'. US crude hit a low of about $26 a barrel in February of that year. Oil prices have increased from about $46 a barrel in June to $65 on Wednesday.

Currency markets have been relatively quiet when compared to the action in equities and bonds, but expect the Yen to strengthen further, if stocks continue to plunge throughout the USA trading session. On Monday, it gave up $1.30 to $64.15 per barrel.

Oil prices also dropped, with global benchmark Brent futures hitting a one-month low of $66.90 per barrel on Monday.

Bond yields, which have been a key source of pressure on stocks over the week declined significantly as investors found few places to go for. Bond prices jumped after a steep decline on Friday.

It was also a wild ride for Treasuries, with United States 10-year yields diving as deep as 2.65% before a fresh sell-off dragged them back up to 2.80%. Lower interest rates hurt banks because they can not charge as much money for mortgages and other types of loans.



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