US stocks trend lower, Turkey’s currency crisis rattles global markets

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Major US equity indices tracked global equity sell-off, fueled by the mounting currency crisis in Turkey, and opened sharply lower on Friday

The ongoing steep decline in the Turkish Lira raised concerns about a possible contagion into other markets, especially in wake of the European banking exposure. Adding to this, the latest US sanctions against Russia and the potential for a second round of sanctions in 90 days roiled Russian currency – the Ruble.

The latest sign of turmoil in emerging economies, along with escalating geopolitical tensions were seen as key factors denting investors’ appetite for riskier assets – like equities and contributing to the early weakness on the last trading day of the week. 

The global flight to safety/risk-off mood was evident from a sell-off across European equity markets and the ongoing slump in the US Treasury bond yields, which found little support from today’s mostly in-line US consumer inflation figures. 

During the opening hour of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 250-points to 25,275 and the broader S&P 500 Index slipped around 4-points to 2,853. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down nearly 60-points to 7,832.

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