BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets sank yesterday as Europe faced a new squeeze on Russian gas supplies.
London and Frankfurt opened lower. Tokyo, Hong Kong and South Korea fell while Shanghai gained. Oil prices rose more than USD2 per barrel while the euro edged lower.
Markets were roiled by Russian energy giant Gazprom’s announcement on Friday that a suspension of gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be extended indefinitely. That adds to shortages in Germany and other economies.
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.1 per cent to 7,198.73 and the DAX in Frankfurt tumbled 3.2 per cent to 12,628.44. The CAC 40 in France fell two per cent to 6,047.28.
Gazprom’s announcement puts European stocks under “heavy pressure”, said Chris Turner of ING in a report.
Also on Friday, United States (US) government data showed hiring slowed in August but wages rose sharply. Forecasters said the Federal Reserve might see that as evidence more interest rate hikes are needed to bring down inflation that is at a four-decade high.
“Markets relinquished early optimism for a sense of foreboding,” said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in a report.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 future was off less than 0.1 per cent. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained less than 0.1 per cent.
The Dow also fell 1.1 per cent on Friday after the Labor Department reported the US economy added 315,000 jobs in August. That was down from July’s 526,000, but average hourly pay jumped by an unusually wide margin of 5.2 per cent compared with a year earlier.