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No leap year luck for markets

Monday, February 29, 2016 - 01:33

Shares retreat in Europe and Asia after a weekend meeting of G20 finance chiefs ended with no new plan to spur global growth. As Sara Hemrajani reports, investors are also likely to fret about fresh data out this week.

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No lucky omens for financial markets this leap year. A sell-off in Asia spread to Europe, with investors flocking to safer assets. The negative end to February marks the fourth-straight month of declines. Prompting this latest round of losses - the G20's failure to come up with a convincing plan of action. CMC's Michael Hewson. SOUNDBITE: Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst, CMC Markets, saying (English): "It's the same arbiters, and I think it's the reliance on central banks and a clear lack of any cohesive action from G20 finance ministers. They talk about structural reform but ultimately there seems to be lack of political will to deliver it." With market volatility dominating the start of 2016, some analysts say traders have simply lost their nerve. Justin Urquhart-Stewart is from Seven Investment Management. SOUNDBITE: Justin Urquhart-Stewart, Marketing Director, Seven Investment Management, saying (English): "What the market's been doing is looking for scapegoats, looking for reasons and saying, well it must be the oil price, well very quickly realising it wasn't the oil price because that's actually good for the economy unless you're producing the stuff. Was it therefore U.S. interest rates? Well we've been calmed down now by the FOMC to say well it's not really that. Is it a recession? Well it would be the first recession I've ever seen where unemployment's been going down. So it does seem rather strange. There's one word missing in this and that is confidence." Economic data out this week - including U.S. employment and German manufacturing figures - will come under even closer scrutiny. That's as investors cling on to the hope of a turnaround, not the prospect of a new global recession.

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No leap year luck for markets

Monday, February 29, 2016 - 01:33