LONDON: Many stock markets plunged once again Friday despite huge profits for US titans Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet as geopolitical worries clouded the outlook for the global economy.
Fresh hefy losses — Paris was down 2.0 percent in midday deals — came at the end of a hugely volatile trading week that has wiped out all of 2018 gains for some markets.
The euro recovered against the dollar after posting a fresh two-month low point Thursday.
The dollar meanwhile struck a decade-high at 6.9682 against the yuan as US-China trade tensions rumble on.
Following losses at the start of the week, stock markets showed signs of recovery Thursday before diving once more heading into the weekend break.
– Just a dead cat bounce –
“Any hope that Thursday’s recovery was anything more than a dead cat bounce was short-lived, as a couple of disappointing earnings reports sent investors running for the hills again on Friday,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group.
“The mentality of the markets right now means that any reasons to sell are being leaped on.”
Amazon reported Thursday that its net profit in the recently-ended quarter rocketed to $2.9 billion in a ten-fold increase from the same period last year.
However, analysts had expected an even stronger performance, prompting shares to sink 8.8 percent to $1,643 in after market trades.
There was a similar situation for Alphabet, whose third-quarter net profit surged 36 percent to $9.2 billion — but its shares slumped 4.8 percent on market disappointment with revenue growth.
– Another rough day for Asia –
Asian investors took flight also Friday, with Hong Kong’s main index closing down 1.1 percent, while Tokyo ended 0.4-percent lower and Shanghai gave up 0.2 percent.
Singapore dived 1.4 percent and Seoul shed 1.8 percent. However, Wellington was marginally higher and Manila added more than one percent.
Elsewhere Friday, oil prices continued to retreat from their four-year highs seen at the start of the month.
“Sentiment has drastically changed towards black gold over the last few weeks as people have reassessed their expectations for global growth and the Saudi’s have promised to keep ramping up production as output from Iran falls under US sanctions,” noted analyst Erlam.
Energy inventories are meanwhile increasing in the United States, heaping further pressure on crude prices.
– Key figures around 1015 GMT –
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 1.5 percent at 6,896.10 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 1.7 percent at 11,113.83
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 2.2 percent at 4,921.38
Milan – FTSE MIB: DOWN 1.7 percent at 18,502.9
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.7 percent at 3,109.44
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 21,184.60 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.1 percent at 24,717.63 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,598.85 (close)
New York – Dow: UP 1.6 percent at 24,984.55 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1359 from $1.1375 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2800 from $1.2817
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.93 from 112.37 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 83 cents at $76.06 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 95 cents at $66.38
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