Global Market Slides Mar Joyous Holidays

Though this time of year is generally the time of cheer and joy, traders worldwide are not quite feeling the love. Wall Street indexes plummeted again on Monday, officially entering into a bear market, while the dollar hit a four-month low against the yen. Adding to the troubles was a decline of US WTI futures by as much as 6.7 percent as trader concerns about a global slowdown hit new highs.

The S&P 500 closed down 2.71 percent on Tuesday and the Nasdaq closed 2.21 percent lower. The biggest loser of the day, however, was the Dow Jones Industrial Average which eased 2.91 percent going into the Christmas holiday. Asian markets took their cues from Wall Street on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 suffering a dramatic 4.55 percent decline as of 1:45p.m. HK/SIN. The Shanghai Composite was down 2.03 percent and the Shenzhen Composite was down 2.01 percent.

The stock market has now officially entered a bear market, marked by a 20 percent decline from recent highs. Historically, bear markets tend to last around 13 months, and markets tend to lose 30.4 percent of their value, according to CNBC. It often takes months to recover, if not years. A bear market isn’t only characterized by losses in the stock market, it can also include an overall feeling of pessimism from traders and analysts which can spread to other markets, such as the commodity markets.

Oil prices seem to already be affected, with US WTI futures trading down 6.38 percent in Asia’s mid-afternoon, to $42.68 per barrel. Brent crude futures were down 6.19 percent to $50.49 per barrel.

Currency Fluctuations

The dollar hit its lowest point since August on Tuesday, falling 0.31 percent to 110.09 against the yen. The greenback was under pressure not only because of the declines on Wall Street but because of political strife in Washington that was unsettling for traders, as the US government shutdown stretched into its fifth day. The dollar also eased against the euro and the Canadian dollar, sending the dollar index down 0.06 percent to 96.48 .DXY.

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