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Global Stock Markets Dip as Economy Fears Grow

Following big losses in the US and Europe, Asian markets sank on Friday as concerns about the economy grew following a series of rate rises throughout the world.

The United Kingdom and Switzerland boosted interest rates on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve of the United States announced the highest rate hike since 1994.

Policymakers are hiking interest rates in order to decrease demand and alleviate some of the pressures that are driving up consumer prices.

Investors are concerned that the actions would cause a lasting slump in the global economy.

After the US rate hike was announced, Ryan Sweet of Moody’s Analytics said, “The Federal Reserve will boost interest rates until policymakers break inflation, but the risk is that they also break the economy.”

Prior to the US rate rise this week, markets were already in precarious terrain, with the S&P 500 down more than 20% from its January peak.

The Nikkei in Japan was down 1.5 percent on Friday, while Australia’s major stock market index was down more than 2%.

That occurred following a sell-off in the US on Thursday, with the S&P 500 dropping 3.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping more than 4%.

For the first time since January 2021, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 2.4 percent, falling below 30,000 points.

Few businesses were spared, and corporations that rely on discretionary spending, such as Nike and airlines, were among the most impacted.

Energy businesses, which would potentially face a decline in demand if the economy slowed, were also hit hard.

Tesla’s stock dropped 8.5 percent after the company announced price hikes due to increased costs. The autopilot functions of the electric vehicle are also being scrutinized by US road safety officials.

Spotify also dropped 7% a day after the streaming behemoth announced it was limiting recruiting in the wake of economic uncertainty, becoming the second major internet business to do so.

The FTSE 100 closed Thursday down more than 3% in the UK, where the Bank of England warned that inflation might exceed 11% this year, while the FTSE 100 and 250 were somewhat up in early Friday trade.

After warning investors that inflationary pressures were impacting buying behavior, Asos, a British online apparel company, plummeted 32.5 percent.

On Thursday, Germany’s Dax index sank more than 3%, while France’s Cac 40 lost 2.4 percent, but both markets were up on Friday morning.

The Stoxx 600 index fell to its lowest level since February 2021.

Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson is a business journalist, with over a decade of experience in the trenches of reporting up-to-date business news for publications all over the world. With a wealth of knowledge at his back, Bob strives to bring the most important insights into the business world for TheOptic daily.
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