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Stocks suffer worst week since financial crisis

By AFP - Feb 29,2020 - Last updated at Feb 29,2020

NEW YORK — Global stocks slumped again on Friday to mark the largest weekly drop since the 2008 global financial crisis over fears of uncertainty.
Crude oil prices tumbled as well and analysts said central banks, especially the US Federal Reserve, might have to shift into crisis-resolution mode with urgent interest rate cuts.

Frankfurt headed the losses in Europe, shedding almost 3.9 per cent as the market closed.

Leading European stock markets have lost more than 10 per cent in just one week, with London's FTSE 100, which fell by 3.4 per cent on Friday, dropping 11.3 per cent.

Wall Street also had another difficult day, with the Dow finishing down 1.4 per cent at 25,409.36, which meant a drop of more than 12 per cent for the week. 

But US indices cut their losses after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell released a statement saying the US economy remains "strong" but vowing to "use our tools" to provide support if needed.

The markets in Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo all closed down 3 per cent, while Jakarta shed more than 4 per cent. 

"The panic mode is full on," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Meanwhile, the Japanese yen continue to benefit from its status as a haven investment in times of economic uncertainty, making solid gains against the dollar.

Yields on 10-year US Treasuries hit new all-time lows.

Concern that global crude demand will crash meanwhile sent oil prices down again: In London, Brent crude fell 3.2 per cent, while the US benchmark WTI crude dropped 4.9 per cent.

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