World stocks slide as pressure on Russia grows

World stocks slide as pressure on Russia grows

BEIJING (AP) — World stock markets remained on the back foot Monday as tensions grew between Russia & the West over the downing of an airliner in eastern Ukraine.

By midafternoon in Europe, Germany's DAX was off 1.1 percent at 9,614.96 & France's CAC-40 shed 0.6 percent to 4,307.69. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.4 percent to 6,724.20.

Wall Street opened lower, with the Dow falling 0.4 percent at 17,037.55 & the S&P 500 dropping by the same rate to 1,970.85.

p>The shooting down last week of the Malaysia Airlines plane with 298 people aboard has rattled markets, which worried approximately how Western governments, already alarmed by Russia's support for rebels in Ukraine's east, would react.

The disaster, in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, has sparked international condemnation & increased pressure on Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine. Russian officials have blamed Ukraine's government for creating the situation & atmosphere in which the plane was downed.

"The more pressure that builds on Russia the more volatile European indices will be," said strategist Evan Lucas at IG Markets in a report. "With the strong trade links between the continent & Russia, any disruptions to this through sanctions will cause profit taking on European indices."

Earlier, China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2 percent to 2,054.48 points & Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent at 23,387.14. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,539.90.

Seoul's Kospi fell 0.1 percent to 2,018.50 ahead of this week's release of quarterly economic growth data. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher. Jakarta rose 0.8 percent despite tensions over presidential election results due out Tuesday, with both candidates claiming victory.

Investors were looking ahead to U.S. earnings reports amid hopes American economic growth is recovering. Results from Apple, Microsoft & Coca Cola were due out Tuesday & Caterpillar on Thursday.

In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery was up 39 cents to $103.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has risen in recent days on worries that Israel's offensive into Gaza might further destabilize the Middle East, the world's most significant oil-producing region.

The euro edged down to $1.3523 from $1.3525 late Friday while the dollar fell to 101.31 yen from 101.36 yen.


Source: “Associated Press”

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