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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Global markets feeling pressure
Investor watches a pricing board
Investors say it is too early to predict when the slide will end
Global markets have continued to feel pressure, posting sharp declines across Europe and Asia, on concerns of higher interest rates and slower world growth.

US losses were less severe, though all three main stock indexes closed lower.

Commodities also felt the squeeze, with the cost of crude oil down in London and New York, and metals prices dropping on fears of a price bubble.

Analysts said it was difficult to tell when the declines, triggered by a slump in the US dollar last week, will end.

Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities, said that any bad news would reinforce the downward cycle.

"We have to be cautious," he explained.

Christopher Bellew of Bache Financial in London said that Monday's slide was "a continuation of the bubble-bursting in commodities and energy markets last week."

Broad sell-off

In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18.73 points, or 0.17%, to close at 11,125.33. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1% to close at 2,172.86. And the broader S&P 500 was down 0.39% to finish at 1,262.07.

Earlier, the major European markets had also closed down on Monday, with Germany's Dax index down 2.22% and France's Cac down 2.6%. The falls came after a fluctuating day for European stocks.

And weaker metals prices pushed London's FTSE 100 index 2.2% lower at close as mining firm Antofagasta shed 7.85%.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed 1.8% lower at 15,857.87, ending the session below 16,000 for the first time in two months.

The index's biggest fallers included oil group Inpex Holdings, down 5.3%, and Japan Energy owner Nippon Mining, falling 8%.

In India, the Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark 30-share Sensex index was trading 436.27 points, or 4%, lower at 10,398.05 after trading was suspended for an hour.

Earlier it had lost more 1,000 points, its biggest intra-day drop, amid heavy selling by domestic and foreign funds.

Crude oil prices slipped by about $1 on Monday, amid worries that slower economic growth would limit demand.

Commodities fared little better, with Shanghai aluminium futures down 4%, the most they can fall in a single day.

Other commodities sectors also suffered with gold, copper and zinc prices all falling.


MARKET DATA - 11:36 UK

FTSE 100
5429.64up
23.70 0.44%
Dax
5733.05up
19.54 0.34%
Cac 40
3784.02up
14.48 0.38%
Dow Jones
10403.79up
78.53 0.76%
Nasdaq
2273.57up
35.31 1.58%
S&P 500
1115.71up
11.22 1.02%
BBC Global 30
5707.15up
20.65 0.36%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes

SEE ALSO:
US shares flat after tricky week
19 May 06 |  Business
Weaker dollar hits world markets
12 May 06 |  Business
Surprise fall in US trade deficit
12 May 06 |  Business
US rates raised to five-year peak
10 May 06 |  Business
Weak retail figures hit US shares
11 May 06 |  Business



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