Equities  

China and Ukraine fears weigh on markets

Markets in Asia suffered on the back of suggestions the Chinese economy faces serious challenges in terms of growth and the possibility of further corporate defaults.

Japan’s Topix index closed 3.22 per cent lower to 1,164.7, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite index in China slipped 0.73 per cent.

This drag on sentiment also weighed on European markets in early trading, with the FTSE 100 slipping 0.32 per cent and the FTSE EuroFirst 300 moving 0.52 per cent lower.

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In addition, the upcoming referendum in the Crimea on whether the region should split from the Ukraine to join Russia is also affecting market sentiment.

Germany’s Dax index posted an early drop of 0.71 per cent, closely followed by the Cac 40 in France, which slipped 0.62 per cent. In the US markets also moved lower with the S&P 500 closing 1.17 per cent lower, and the Dow Jones slipping 1.41 per cent.