Overseas Trading: Yellen Testimony Crushes Global Markets

Fed Chair Janet Yellen's concerns about the global economy are hitting stocks hard

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 11, 2016 at 8:39 AM

Stocks in Asia tanked as traders reacted to overnight comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen before Congress -- specifically, her concerns about the global economy -- as well as data from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that sent crude sharply lower. While Chinese markets remained shuttered for the Lunar New Year, Hong Kong's Hang Seng resumed trading -- and promptly fell 3.9% to new three-year lows. South Korea's Kospi also was back from vacation, falling 2.9% as weakness in the financial sector overshadowed strength in defense stocks. Meanwhile, Japanese markets were closed for the National Foundation Day holiday.

Yellen's congressional testimony and lower oil prices are also taking a toll on European stocks, with banks resuming their downtrend following a one-day hiatus. At last check, France's CAC 40 has shed 3.6%, dragged lower by a generally downbeat round of earnings -- including Societe Generale, which is staring at a 12% intraday loss. Rounding things out, London's FTSE 100 is off 2.1% and on pace for its lowest close since July 2012, while the German DAX has tumbled 2.5%.


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