Shares see fresh losses after volatile week

A volatile week for world stock markets is ending with more losses after London’s FTSE 100 Index followed US and Asian markets lower.

The slide of about 0.4% for the UK’s blue-chip index comes on top of its 1.5% decline on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its second biggest fall in history on Thursday, with the decline of 1,032 points only surpassed by the drop of 1,175 witnessed on Monday.

This placed the index into what is known as the correction phase, when there is a drop of more than a tenth.

US stock market futures were pointing to a calmer opening on Wall Street later.

Despite this week’s turbulence, global markets are still close to historically high levels.

Analysts have also pointed out that corrections of this kind are normal.

The US stock market began its current wobble last Friday after strong wages and jobs figures suggested inflation could increase and the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates too quickly.

Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said: “Far and away the most important things are the fear that the Fed is going to make a mistake, and higher wages are going to cut into margins.”

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The Bank of England also spooked investors on Thursday by signalling that interest rates are likely to rise earlier and more sharply than previously thought. The FTSE 100 Index is on track to register a drop of 4% over the week.

In Asia this morning, Shanghai stocks plunged 4% while Japan’s Nikkei Index fell 2.3% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 3.1%