Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Shares slump as U.S. slowdown joins emerging-market woes

(Reuters) World shares slumped to near a four-month low on Tuesday as signs of a slowdown in the U.S. economy aggravated the anxiety caused by a sell-off in emerging markets.

A report showing U.S. factory activity was weaker than expected had caused both the dollar and global equities to fall on Monday. European investors remained anxious on Tuesday after another session of sustained selling in Asia.

Futures prices pointed to a 0.3 percent rebound for Wall Street later, but a mid-morning attempt at a stabilization failed in Europe. The benchmark FTSEurofirst index .FTEU3 fell 0.4 percent and headed for a third day of declines. And Europe looked almost rosy compared with Asia.

Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 plunged 4 percent in its worst day since June, cementing its position as the worst performer in developed markets in 2014. MSCI's emerging-market index .MSCIEF dropped 1.4 percent, putting its losses since late October at almost 12 percent.

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