Global Markets Drop Again After Rebound

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 2:23 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. stocks fell as much as 3 percent Wednesday and European stock markets dropped even further because of concerns about weak U.S. economic growth and growing worries about Europe’s debt problems. Asian stocks closed earlier Wednesday with gains.

The decline in Europe and the United States ended a strong stock rally that began Tuesday after top officials of the U.S. central bank said they will probably keep interest rates at their current ultra-low level until the middle of 2013.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s record-low interest rates are intended to make it easier to borrow money, expand businesses, and hire people.

The Fed said it took the action because of a downbeat assessment of the economy. Officials said they are worried that the nation’s economy is recovering more slowly and the labor market is weaker than expected.

The economy is on the agenda at the White House Wednesday, with U.S. President Barack Obama scheduled to meet with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Tuesday’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting followed several days of steep losses for stock markets around the world, and Friday’s downgrade of U.S. credit by the Standard & Poor’s rating agency. Central bank officials said they discussed other policy options to boost the economy, and are ready to use them if needed.