Global Stock Sell-Off Continues Into Second Day

Posted September 6th, 2011 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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A worldwide stock sell-off continued for a second day in Asia Tuesday, driven by fears of slowing growth in the United States and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

Stock indexes were down by more than 1 percent on most Asian markets at midday, with export-oriented manufacturers suffering some of the heaviest losses. Oil prices slid to under $84 a barrel.

Analysts said traders were cautiously awaiting the opening of U.S. trading after Monday's Labor Day holiday, and awaiting a speech on the economy by U.S. President Barack Obama scheduled for Thursday.

The downturn followed losses Monday of around 3 percent in major Asian markets and more than 4 percent in European financial capitals. Analysts blamed the European losses in part of concerns about Greece's ability to meet its debt obligations and the viability of the region's common currency, the euro.

In Singapore, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was quoted saying a global recession is now more likely than not. Reuters news agency quoted him telling participants in a conference the world had entered a self-reinforcing cycle in which slumping consumer confidence leads companies to hold back on investing.

The two-day round of stock selling was sparked by Friday's U.S. Labor Department report which showed job growth stalling. The data increased concerns that the United States could lapse back into recession.

Worries about U.S. growth were compounded by a downbeat report on China's services sector.