Russian stocks down again in wake of big falls in Asia

Russian stock markets followed Asian trading floors and ceded more ground at Friday’s opening as banks took fright at recent statistics signaling slower world economic growth.

“The main reason for a new wave of panic is the same – bad U.S. macroeconomic statistics, supported by the absence of a guideline for debt problems in Europe, which not only annoys, but also vexes market players,” Vladimir Rozhankovsky from Nord Capital said.

The RTS exchange index dropped 3.02 percent to 1,536.30 by 12.22 Moscow time after a 0.63 percent fall at the start of trading.

The Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) lost 2.78 percent to 1,412.48 with a 1.83 percent fall at opening of trade.

The Russian ruble lost 36 kopecks against the U.S. dollar to 29.27. The ruble fell 17 kopecks against the euro to 41.86.

The U.S. has reported that factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region was the lowest since March 2009. It also published falling July home sales, while investors expected a rise, and a greater than expected rise in new jobless claims, raising fears that the U.S. economy was heading for another recession.

Asian stock exchanges extended Thursday’s losses with the South Korean KOPSI slumping by 6.22 percent on its previous close.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 index fell 2.58 percent at opening, whilst Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 2.76 percent, and Germany’s DAX slumped 3.25 percent.

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