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LONDON — World stock markets tumbled towards their worst week of the year on Friday and commodities got another kicking, as more alarming data from China sent investors scurrying to the safety of bonds and gold.
The data from China showed its giant manufacturing sector slowing at the fastest pace since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, confirming the worries about its health that have preying on economist’s minds for months.
Emerging market assets took another hammering and oil prices were on track for their longest losing streak since 1986, as fears of a China-led deceleration in global growth gripped sentiment.
“The market is stuck in a relentless downtrend,” said Robin Bieber, a director at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. “The trend is down — stick with it.”
China’s woes continued to roil commodities. Oil resumed its downward trend. U.S. crude was at a more than 6-year low, on track for its eight straight weekly decline as it slipped 0.5 per cent to $40.85. Brent nudged $46 a barrel.
Oil’s torrid run of weekly losses is its worst since 1986 when OPEC ramped up production and sent it as low as $10 a barrel.
The major developed economy markets were increasingly being dragged into the sell-off.
North American markets fell on the open. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 123.13 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 16,867.56. The S&P 500 lost 13.94 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 2,021.79 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 76.26 points, or 1.56 per cent, to 4,801.23.
In Canada, the TSX was down 78 points at 13,658.
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