Share prices continued to take a battering on Thursday. Europe’s major stock markets indexes all closed down at least three percent – their lowest in five and a half years. The region’s top shares have lost nearly half their value so far this year in deepening economic gloom.
Oil shares led the decline, along with mining companies, as commodities prices continued to tumble. Banks were also big losers after Citigroup’s shares skidded more than twenty percent as investors questioned the US bank’s survival prospects.
It was part of a global sell-off in the face of miserable data from the world’s largest economy, including new claims for jobless benefit in the US hitting a 16-year high.