Wednesday, April 1, 2015   

Broad sell-off hammers European benchmarks
(03-03 20:33)

Global stocks mostly sank today, as fears of a conflict between Ukraine and Russia sent investors fleeing to safe-haven assets including gold and the yen, while oil prices rallied.
In mid day deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 1.90 percent to 6,680.73 points and in Paris the CAC 40 dipped 2.51 percent to 4,297.77 points.
Share prices in Germany plunged more than 3 percent in early afternoon trading.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 plunged more than 3 percent at one stage but later stood at 9,404.86 points, down 2.96 percent from Friday's closing level.
Russian stock markets plunged up to 13.5 percent and the rouble struck historic lows against both the US dollar and euro, forcing the central bank to spring an interest rate hike.
Safe-haven assets were in demand, with gold surging to a four-month peak US$1,350.37 per ounce, the highest level since late October.
“Risk aversion is rife in the markets, as the Ukraine crisis escalated, further prompting investors to rebalance their portfolios away from stocks and towards commodities and other safe haven assets,'' said Alpari analyst Craig Erlam.
German 10-year bond yields fell to 1.569 percent from 1.624 percent on Friday, and the US dollar sank to 101.25 yen as investors turned to the Japanese unit.
The European single currency meanwhile eased to US$1.3780 from US$1.3800 in New York late on Friday.—AFP

   
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