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Equities and yields plummet as risk aversion surges

News Date: 24/2/2016 09:06:27
World stock indexes recorded deep losses on Wednesday due to tumbling oil prices and fears over a British exit from the European Union, which is expected to rock the regional economy for several years. Additionally, a spate of weak data from Asia and Britain today sapped investors' confidence, sending them towards safe havens.

The pan-European index FTSEurofirst 300 plunged 2.10% to a one-week low at 1,261, taking it away from the level of 1,300 again. Germany's DAX index slumped 220 points, or 2.35%, underperforming the wider European market. On the other hand, Britain's FTSE100 index resisted the headwinds, sliding just 80 points, or 1.33%, easily outperforming the wider market to trade lat at 5,883.

Oil prices took a hit on lost hopes of any near production cut from major producers, with Brent crude futures falling 55 cents, or 1.70% to hover around $32.70 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost nearly a dollar, or more than three percent to trade at $30.89 a barrel.

Yields from U.S. government bonds tumbled today as investors crowded to buy the safe havens, with the two-year yield falling 2.61% to 0.727. The five-year yield dived 3.76% to 1.174, and finally, the ten-year note yield gave up about three percent to 1.693.

Precious metals rose handily as well today, buoyed by the turmoil in the stock markets, with gold futures climbing 21 dollars, or 1.72% to trade at $1,243 an ounce, while silver futures gained 25 cents, or 1.70% to $15.49 an ounce. Conversely, copper futures dropped 1.35% to $2.076 a pound.

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