A Thai investor watches share prices at private stock trading floor Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Shares are tumbling in Asia after a wild day for U.S. markets that resulted in the biggest drop in the Dow Jones industrial average in six and a half years. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Markets Right Now: Mideast markets suffer modest drop

February 06, 2018 - 6:16 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

6:15 a.m.

In the Middle East, stocks were touched by the U.S. and Asian markets' sell-off, though the losses were more limited.

Dubai's stock market closed 1.5 percent lower and Abu Dhabi's shed nearly 1 percent on Tuesday in the region's third day of trading for the week.

In Saudi Arabia, the region's biggest economy, the Tadawul stock exchange slipped 1.5 percent while Qatar's closed a little more than 2 percent down.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, one of the largest consumer markets in the region, the EGX30 was trading 2 percent lower and the EGX50 was down 3 percent.


5:45 a.m.

The turmoil in global stock markets has echoes with what's been going on with bitcoin, the hugely volatile virtual currency, which rose exponentially to around $20,000 last year before a precipitous slump.

Many in the markets think assets like bitcoin are introducing a layer of uncertainty that has contributed to the retreat in stocks.

On Monday, bitcoin slid from around $11,500 to below $7,000, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell by a record 1,175 points.

According to James Hughes, chief market analyst at AXI Trader, the Dow Jones "was trying to do its best Bitcoin impression."

Bitcoin was under pressure again Tuesday, trading 5.9 percent lower at $6,509.


5:05 a.m.

There are signs of a reprieve in the global market sell-off.

Futures markets are pointing to a steady opening on Wall Street, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.2 percent and up 0.4 percent, respectively.

Hopes that Tuesday won't see a repeat of the previous day's selling on Wall Street has helped European stock markets clamber off earlier lows. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 1.8 percent, while Germany's DAX was 1.9 percent lower — both indexes are higher than where they started the session.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said it's the "speed of the correction, not its size," that has proven the "real shock, particularly to a market inured to low volatility."


3:15 a.m.

Stock markets in Europe have tumbled at the open following the routs on Wall Street and Asia and as investors fret that a healthy correction could turn into a protracted bear market.

Minutes after the bell to signal the start of trading, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 2.5 percent at 7,151, while the CAC 40 in France slid 3 percent to 5,127. It was a similar story on Germany's DAX, which was 3 percent lower at 12,308.

Investors around the world have taken fright at the prospect of a higher than anticipated increase in U.S. interest rates this year in the event rising wages stir inflation.

Many in the markets had been anticipating some sort of correction following the steady gains over the past year or so, which have pushed some indexes, notably on Wall Street, to a series of record highs.


1:15 a.m.

Shares are taking a beating in Asia after the biggest drop in the Dow Jones industrial average in six and a half years.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index plunged as much as 7.1 percent but recovered some of those losses to close down 4.7 percent at 21,610.24 on Tuesday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 4.1 percent to 30,938.85 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 1.4 percent to 2,458.06.

Most other regional share benchmarks gave up between 2 percent to 4 percent. The dollar weakened to 108.81 Japanese yen.

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