European stocks slump on China’s economic woes

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European stocks slump on China's economic woesLONDON: European stock markets fell on Thursday, weighed down by concerns over the health of ’s economy and sliding prices.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 0.56 percent compared with Wednesday’s close at 6,367.89 points.

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In the eurozone, the CAC 40 in Paris sank 2.06 percent to end the day at 4,783.55 points, while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 dropped 2.34 percent to finish at 10,432.19 points.

In foreign exchange, the euro jumped to $ 1.1210 from $ 1.1121 late on Wednesday in .

“The European stock markets are continuing to lose ground as investor worries over China intensify,” said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at Gain Capital trading group.

Dealers said markets remained under pressure from the uncertainties over China after the shock devaluation of the yuan last week added to fears that growth in the world’s second biggest economy is slowing more than thought.

“The devaluations last week raised fears of a greater Chinese slowdown which would deprive the global economy of one of its engines for growth,” said Renaud Murail, a manager at Barclays Bourse in Paris.

Asian markets slumped on Thursday with China’s benchmark Shanghai stock index closing down 3.42 percent, while Tokyo lost 0.94 percent, 1.77 percent and Sydney 1.70 percent.

US stocks followed Asia and Europe lower Thursday with plunging also weighing on investor sentiment.

The US benchmark for September delivery edged close to the psychologically important $ 40-per-barrel level before staging a modest rebound into positive territory.

Around mid-day in New York, the Industrial Average was down 1.35 percent at 17,113.89 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.06 percent to 2,057.59 points, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.62 percent to stand at 4,937.86.

on Thursday cleared 3.4 billion euro ($ 3.79 billion) payment owed to the , a source close to the matter said.

That effectively ended the bitter feud dividing the Greece’s radical-left government and its European creditors that had threatened to force the country out of the euro and sow chaos in the global economy.

“The eurozone indices fared a bit worse than the FTSE (on Thursday)… despite the fact that Greece paid back the on time, an event that would have once caused indices-wide jubilation,” said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group.

Athens’ main stocks index sank 3.52 percent to close at 651.56 points, with deepening political rifts in Athens piling pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Later Thursday after the markets closed, the ANA news agency reported, citing government sources, that Tsipras has proposed calling an early election on September 20.

The hard-left leader is expected to make the announcement in an address to the nation before going to see President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to submit his government’s resignation, the agency said.

Greece had on Wednesday won the final green light to start repaying its debts and reviving its crippled economy after eurozone finance ministers formally approved the reforms-for-loans package worth 86 billion euros.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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