US Economy
Global markets slide; US industrial production best in 3 years & jobless claims in 14-year low
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Oct 16, 2014 - 3:39 PM

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The global markets slide continued Thursday on fears of a global slowdown with growing concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa adding to the tensions over the Ukraine and Middle East. Meanwhile US industrial production had the best monthly rise in September in 3 years while initial weekly jobless claims data last week were the best in 14 years.

The Stoxx Europe 600 is down 1.34% Thursday after falling as much as 3.2% on Wednesday while in Asia the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.2% to 134.94, to its lowest since late March.

Stocks dropped fell over 2% in Tokyo extending a rout to 10% from this year’s high late last month and ranking as Asia’s worst market this year and one of the world’s biggest decliners.

European stock markets slumped, with London, Frankfurt and Paris down 1.19%, 1.09 and 1.73% and Greek shares down 2.2% for a loss of 17% in a week.

In Dublin the ISEQ dropped 1.33%.

On the bond markets yields on Spanish, Greek, Irish, Portuguese, and Italian bonds rose.

In New York the Dow Jones is off 0.74%, the S&P 500 has dipped 0.81% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.93%.

The United States stock markets fell Wednesday amid waves of selling and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 460 points, or 2.8% at one point, though it later swung higher to close off 1.1%, or 173.45 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.8%, or 15.21 points. Italian shares plunged more than 4%. The German and French stock markets both dipped by nearly 3%.

CNNMoney said today that every major market in Europe has now entered correction territory, which occurs when an index drops by at least 10% from a recent peak.

The FTSE 100 in London has been faring the best so far, dropping by "only" 12% since early September. But Italy's FTSE MIB index has tumbled by 22% since mid-June. In Germany the benchmark Dax index has fallen by nearly 16% from a peak in late June while in Paris, the CAC 40 in Paris has dropped by about 17.5% over roughly the same period.

US economic data today showed that industrial production in September rose 1% -- the largest monthly rise in 3 years according to the Fed.

The Department of Labor reported also Thursday that the number of new claims for jobless benefits fell to a 14-year low last week, the latest sign of an improving employment market.

Initial claims for jobless benefits dropped by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000 in the week ended Oct. 11.

The DOL said there were no special factors affecting the data.

The report also showed the four-week moving average for initial claims, which evens out volatility fell 4,250 to 283,500.

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