Asian shares dropped and oil prices fell to two-year lows on Friday after weak German export data raised fears that a recession at the heart of Europe could slow down the global economy. Japan’s Nikkei share average .N225 fell 1.1 percent in early trade while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS shed 0.8 percent.
Concerns about global economic growth hit oil prices hard, with Brent oil prices LCOc1 falling to $89.24 a barrel, its lowest level since mid-2012. U.S. crude futures CLc1 traded at $84.68, having fallen to $84.06 on Thursday, its lowest level in almost two years.
Investors have long believed that a solid U.S. recovery will eventually help lift many other sluggish economies around the world, including those in Europe. But now there is growing fear that the U.S. economy – the world’s largest, but less than a quarter of the entire global economy – cannot escape unscathed when Europe is stalling and many other big economies, including China, Japan and Brazil, face their own hardships.
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