Markets

Its bear markets galore as year to forget for bulls rounds out

The depth and breadth of the market sell-off is claiming new victims, with US tech stocks and Japanese equities among the latest to hit the less than gratifying milestone: a bear market.

Typically defined as a tumble of 20 percent or more from a high, bear markets arrived for Japans Topix index and the Nasdaq Composite last week.

Heres a look at some other notable moves from Italian shares to natural gas, with the date circled on the charts to mark the crossing of the threshold.

FANG flu
Stocks that led gains for much of the 9 1/2-year bull market in US equities came crashing down amid heightened valuations and concern regulation will crimp earnings. All of the so-called FANG stocks, comprised of Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix Inc., and Google parent Alphabet Inc., are now in bear markets. Some investors warned it may also be the response to an ensuing policy error by the Federal Reserve.

Equity rout
Equities in Europe and Japan have also taken a leg down on the prospect of slowing global economic growth, while political turmoil from Paris to Rome dents investor confidence.

Over in the United Kingdom, overseas profits are helping the main stock index fare slightly better. The weakness in the pound has provided a buffer despite Brexit fears. Returns must be denominated in US dollars for the index to be considered as having crossed the 20 per cent threshold for a bear market.

China woes
The escalation in the US-China trade spat came as Chinas economy was already slowing. The Shanghai Composite was one of the first major indexes to enter a bear market this year as the Trump administration imposed tariffs on a swathe of Chinese exports.

Oil, coffee
Commodity markets also suffered as expectations grew for a slowdown in China that may be sharper than previously thought. The selling has affected items including coffee as well as industrial metals like copper and energy products like WTI crude and natural gas.

Original Article

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