10 Feb 2018

Wall Street rebounds but posts worst week in two years

2:35 pm on 10 February 2018

US stocks ended a wild week with a burst of buying, but still recorded their worst week in two years and investors braced for more volatile trading days ahead.

New Zealand's share market immediately fell two percent on opening

New Zealand's share market immediately fell two percent on opening Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The Dow Jones rose 1.4 percent, and the broader S&P 500 was up 1.5 percent on Friday - but ended the week 9 percent below the all-time high set just two weeks ago.

The sharp falls of the week confirmed the market was in a correction, down more than 10 percent from 26 January, and throwing the nearly nine-year bull market off course.

Other European markets also suffered on Friday, with Germany's Dax falling 1.4 percent and France's Cac 40 shedding 1.25 percent.

New Zealand's sharemarket fell more than 4 percent this week, closing yesterday at its lowest level in more than two months.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones fell by more than 1000 points for the second time this week, and Asian markets followed the downward trend, with Japan's Nikkei 225 shares index closing down 2.3 percent.

The big sell-offs around the world this week have been pinned partly on concerns over the prospect of higher interest rates.

The sharp selloff was kicked off by concerns over rising inflation and bond yields, sparked by last week's January US jobs report.

Rising bond yields are typically a signal of higher interest rates. This in in turn pushes up borrowing costs for companies and individuals, which can hurt corporate profits and curb economic activity.

"I don't see any reason to think that we're setting a pattern for next week or the rest of the year," said Rob Stein, chief executive officer of Astor Investment Management in Chicago.

"The only pattern we're setting is more volatility."

- Reuters / BBC

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs