Global markets endured a horrible finish to the week on Friday night, hurt by fears stocks have become too expensive.
More losses on the Nasdaq and S&P500 capped the worst week for these indices since mid-2012, as a plunge in tech shares ignited fears valuations have become too stretched.
A better-than-expected US consumer confidence read did little to help sentiment, as investors focussed their attention on the second quarter earnings season.
Banking giant, JP Morgan, tumbled almost four percent after its quarterly profit missed estimates, and there are fears other companies – especially in the tech space – will also underwhelm expectations when they report.
Activity was more subdued in commodity markets. Gold retreated slightly, but the yellow metal remains supported by falling equities and rising tensions in Ukraine.
Oil climber further, scoring a weekly gain of more than three percent. Prices climbed after the International Energy Agency said OPEC production fell in March and warned of further output declines.
Natural gas futures were also a flash point for traders, soaring four percent for the week, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned he would cut supplies to Ukraine if the country didn’t pay its bills
Amid data showing US consumer confidence reaching a nine month high, the US dollar rose slightly against other currencies.
Still, the greenback logged a weekly decline of more than one percent versus the yen and euro, as traders viewed the Fed’s policy outlook as being more dovish than originally thought, particularly after the release of March’s meeting minutes.