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Economic woes hit markets worldwide

New York, July 30, 2011

World stocks ended lower yesterday as investors piled into safe havens on worries about sovereign debt crises on both sides of the Atlantic and after data showed meagre growth in the US economy.

The Swiss franc, a traditional safe-haven currency, rose to record highs against both the dollar and the euro, said a report in our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News.

US Republican leaders yesterday scrambled to rescue their budget deficit-cutting plan to stave off an unprecedented US default before an August 2 deadline. Fears the euro zone debt crisis was spreading also grew after Moody's threatened to downgrade Spain's credit rating.

Global equities as measured by the MSCI world equity index fell 0.3 per cent. The benchmark index has fallen 2.7 per cent this week. European stocks closed out their worst week since March, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 finishing down 0.4 per cent. Emerging stocks were down 0.7 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 96.87 points, or 079 per cent, while S&P 500 tumbled 8.39 points, or 0.65 per cent, and Nasdaq Composite shed 9.871 points, or 0.36 per cent.

The euro extended gains against the dollar. The euro rose to session highs at $1.44140 on trading platform EBS and last traded at $1.4387, up 0.4 per cent.

The dollar plunged to all-time lows against the Swiss franc of 0.7853. It also hit a four-month trough versus the yen of 77.01 on trading platform EBS.

Spot gold rose as high as $1,632.30, before easing back to around 1,626. US crude oil fell $1.74 to $95.70 a barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for September shed 62 cents to settle at $116.74 a barrel on the IntercontinentalExchange. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: euro | New York | Dow Jones | debt | Swiss franc | World Markets |

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