The market sell-off slowed in Europe after Asian shares sank on Friday, a day after volatile trading on Wall Street amid fears of higher US interest rates.
European stock markets experienced relatively early minor losses on Friday, hours after Asian shares sank as fears of higher US interest rates shredded global investor confidence.
It followed another day of sharp falls on Wall Street, at the end of a turbulent week marked by large sell-offs in global markets.
German Bunds barely moved after their recent rise in yields. Markets in Frankfurt and London were down, but UK shares fell by less than had been seen in the US and Asia.
Shanghai’s Composite Index and the blue chip CSI300 index both tumbled by at least six percent. Both countries’ recovered to limit losses to just over four percent. However, this still represented their largest single-day losses for two years.
Japan’s Nikkei also shed 2.3 percent, en route to a weekly loss of over eight percent – its biggest since February 2016 as well.
On Thursday the Dow plunged more than 1,000 points just before the final bell clanged. It represented a full market correction, defined as a 10 percent drop from its 52-week high.
The S&P 500 also dropped 3.7 percent to a new low for the week.
After a record run-up, stock markets have been newly volatile following a stronger-than-expected January jobs report. Some investors saw the fastest rate of wage increases in recent times as a signal that the Fed might hike interest rates higher and sought to lock in gains, leading to the sell-off.
"It's really about people thinking the Fed is either behind the curve or actually has to be more aggressive," Stephanie Link, global asset management managing director at TIAA, told CNBC. "That fear, that unknown, is really what's driving a lot of the anxiety."
By closing at 23,860 points, the Dow Jones industrial average was set back to its level on Nov. 17, 2017, and officially corrected. The index peaked at 26,616 points just two weeks ago.
And the ride isn't over.
"With the market closing at the low end of the day’s range, expect more gyrations in the days and weeks to come," Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, said in an email.
In the big picture, the dip isn't unusual. If you had put $100 (€81) in the market at its peak, you would still have $90 (€73). What is unusual is that there hasn't been a correction in the stock market since 2016.
“When the market declines sharply, everyone naturally wonders 'What’s wrong?' Nothing is wrong economically," McBride said. "The economy is doing better now than it has any time in the past decade. This is just some healthy, and overdue, volatility to wring out any excess.”