Global stock markets fall amid concern over rising prices

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London, May 19

Stock markets in Asia and the US have fallen over concerns that rising prices could send the global economy into a slowdown, BBC reported.

The US shares saw their biggest one-day drop since 2020 after downbeat earnings reports from some of America's biggest retailers.

Target said unexpectedly high fuel and freight costs had cut into profits, which halved compared with a year ago.

That followed a similarly downbeat update from rival Walmart earlier, BBC reported.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei index was 1.8 per cent lower in Asia afternoon trade, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.3 per cent.

That came after the S&P 500 index, which tracks shares of a wide swathe of America's biggest companies, plunged more than 4 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 3.5 per cent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.7 per cent. The falls added to weeks of declines on the US financial markets, BBC reported.

"What people are worried about after seeing Target is, will more earnings (estimates) have to be taken down?" said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital in New York.

"Consumer sentiment is at multi-year lows and tied at the hip with inflation. So people are looking for signs of inflation moderating, and Target did not give them any today."

Target's update sent its shares plunging 25 per cent – the biggest decline in more than three decades, BBC reported.

The announcements from Target and Walmart were closely watched for signs of how consumer spending is holding up in the world's largest economy, as inflation reaches 40-year highs.


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