Global shares fall again as investors shed riskier positions

Weaker-than-forecast GDP figures from euro zone have challenged recovery expectations

A man is reflected on an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo . Photograph: Yuya Shino /Reuters

A man is reflected on an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo . Photograph: Yuya Shino /Reuters


Global shares fell again for a third day today, on course for their longest losing streak in over a month, and yields on some lower-rated euro zone bonds rose as a gloomier economic picture in Europe led investors to shed riskier positions.

Weaker-than-forecast GDP figures from euro zone countries such as Italy, France and Portugal yesterday challenged market expectations for an economic recovery in the bloc, which have boosted shares and lower-rated bonds in the region since last summer.

Sharp sell-offs in US and Japanese shares and a fall in safe haven Treasury yields strengthened the feeling global investors were starting to question a 20 per cent rally in global shares since June 2013, which propelled a key world index to six year highs earlier this week.

“There’s a general rotation and fall in risk appetite,” Andrew Parry, chief executive officer at Hermes Sourcecap, which manages €2.4 billion worth of assets. “In Europe...GDP figures yesterday show the recovery is quite modest so far.”

The MSCI All-Country World index was down 0.2 per cent, falling for a third day and further retreating from 418.24, a high touched yesterday and previously not seen since November 2007.

Futures pointed to a flat to lower start for US indexes, which have fallen for the past two sessions. Greek and Portuguese 10-year government bond yields rose, hit by nervousness around Greek government stability and weaker-than-expected growth data for Portugal.

“There will be some investors that are concerned and should take into consideration that is not just a one day movement but something more prolonged,” said Daniel Lenz, strategist at DZ Bank.

Italian, Spanish and Irish bond yields reversed early advances to trade slightly lower. Yields on benchmark German bonds, regarded as a safe-haven asset due to the country’s strong economy, hovered close to a one-year low while the euro consolidated just above a 2-months trough against the dollar.