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Yellen inspires fresh rout on global stock markets

epa05153003 Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Federal Reserve's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC, USA, 10 February 2016. It is the Chairwoman's first appearance before lawmakers since the Fed raised interest rates in December 2015.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

London / AFP

World stocks slumped on Thursday, gripped by another fierce sell-off after a warning by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen over the global economy, while oil fell close to 12-year lows.
New York’s Dow Jones Industrial Average sank overnight as Yellen also played down the chances of another US interest rate hike any time soon.
The news sparked a renewed sell-off in Asia on Thursday, with Hong Kong stocks tumbling as investors played catch-up after a three-day break for the Chinese New Year.
The intense selling spilled over into Europe, with Athens shedding six percent and Milan diving five percent at one stage, while Paris was down 3.1 percent in early afternoon deals.
Frankfurt and Madrid stocks also slid by more than three percent at one point, while London retreated 2.0 percent.
“The Fed chair inspired a wave of panic late in the American session that has fed through Asia and turned up on Europe’s doorstep,” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said. He added that “a lack of sufficient dovishness paired with gloomy comments on the global outlook” had reignited investors’ recession fears. US oil prices dipped close to a 12-year low underneath $27 per barrel, plagued also by chronic oversupply.
Sentiment soured further as Australian mining giant Rio Tinto posted an annual net loss of US$866 million and blamed the “highly challenging environment” as commodity prices plunge and China’s economic slowdown bites.

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