Global stock markets fell on Wednesday as oil prices slumped back towards 11-year lows, sapping investors’ appetite for risky assets and hurting the shares of mining and energy companies.
Stock markets rallied the previous day as oil prices rebounded on prospects for lower temperatures on both sides of the Atlantic. But on Wednesday benchmark Brent crude slid back below $37 a barrel, with investors worried about slowing demand and high supplies. [O/R]
The fall in oil prices has been a major driver of financial markets this year, hammering energy companies, lowering inflation expectations and reinforcing bets on loose monetary policy in Europe and a slow tightening in the United States.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.5 percent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined by 0.6 percent, having both gained in the previous session.
Asian shares unwound earlier gains, with continued weakness in Chinese stocks. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.1 percent, on track for a flat monthly performance and down 12 percent for the year.