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Stocks sell-off slams back into Europe

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Stocks sell-off slams back into Europe

Stocks sell-off slams back into Europe

European stocks slumped to a 21-month low on Thursday after Wall Street's worst losses in eight months triggered a surge of global selling that also hit Asia and emerging markets.

Sonia Legg reports.

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Stocks sell-off slams back into Europe

Another stock creeps lower as Europe's markets fall to 21-month lows.

Frankfurt traders weren't surprised.

There'd already been similar falls in Asian markets after a rout on Wall Street.

There was no one key trigger - more a combination of factors hitting healthy indexes.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) COMMERZBANK, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "On the one hand you've got a Federal Reserve which is rising interest rates.

So clearly that's something which I think markets are beginning to factor in --that the rates might go higher than they had previously anticipated.

Then you've got rising gold prices, you've got trade war tensions and all this is coming against the backdrop of a market which looks very heavily valued." Losses in London, Milan and Paris also headed towards a 2 percent drop during the morning.

It left European stocks around 7 percent lower than they were at the start of the year.

A big contrast to the U.S. where the S&P 500 was still 4.3 percent higher.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) COMMERZBANK, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "I don't think I would want to say this is a needed correction I do think markets need to pause but I think what we really need is a period of stability in markets." That's perhaps unlikely with trade wars continuing and President Trump calling the Fed's recent rate rises "crazy." (SOUNDBITE) (German) JULIUS BAER BANK HEAD OF CURRENCY RESEARCH AND DEPUTY CHIEF ECONOMIST, DAVID KOHL, SAYING: "We are hearing quite often from the Fed these days that the right strategy to avoid this volatility is to adjust interest rates early on.

That's a very different scenario from the one we've seen over the past five years." Hundreds of billions of dollars of global wealth has been erased over the past 24 hours.

And China's hurting the worst - its main indexes fell 5 percent.

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