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Markets continue downward drift

London Stock ExchangeMon close: Global markets showed few signs of halting recent falls with shares in Asia overnight hitting lows last seen in 2011.

Weak US economic data has added to worries over expectations that Iran will add to the world’s oil glut. European markets opened slightly weaker. The FTSE 100  closed down 24 points at 5,779.9 after yo-yoing for much of the day.

Overnight Japan’s Nikkei fell by as much as 2.8% to a one-year low and has lost 20% from its peak hit in June but regained some ground to be down 1% at 16,978 points.

Retail sales and industrial output fell in the US in December which may put a brake on expected rises in interest rates.

Oil prices continued to fall with Brent crude touching $27.67 a barrel – the lowest level since 2003 before a slight recovery to $28.75 per barrel (4.30pm). West Texas Intermediate declined 1.3% to $29.04 per barrel.

Some analysts are now claiming the markets are oversold and do not reflect the real economy which is stronger than is being reflected in current values.


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