It’s bear markets galore as year to forget for bulls rounds out

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The depth and breadth of the market sell-off is claiming new victims, with US tech stocks and Japanese equities among the latest to hit the less than gratifying milestone: a bear market.

Typically defined as a tumble of 20% or more from a high, bear markets arrived for Japan’s Topix index and the Nasdaq Composite last week.

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Here’s a look at some other notable moves from Italian shares to natural gas, with the date circled on the charts to mark the crossing of the threshold.

FANG FLU

Stocks that led gains for much of the 9 1/2-year bull market in US equities came crashing down amid heightened valuations and concern regulation will crimp earnings. All of the so-called FANG stocks, comprised of Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet, are now in bear markets. Some investors warned it may also be the response to an ensuing policy error by the Federal Reserve.

Equity Rout

Equities in Europe and Japan have also taken a leg down on the prospect of slowing global economic growth, while political turmoil from Paris to Rome dents investor confidence.

Over in the UK, overseas profits are helping the main stock index fare slightly better. The weakness in the pound has provided a buffer despite Brexit fears. Returns must be denominated in US dollars for the index to be considered as having crossed the 20% threshold for a bear market.

China Woes

The escalation in the US-China trade spat came as China’s economy was already slowing. The Shanghai Composite was one of the first major indexes to enter a bear market this year as the Trump administration imposed tariffs on a swathe of Chinese exports.

Oil, Coffee

Commodity markets also suffered as expectations grew for a slowdown in China that may be sharper than previously thought. The selling has affected items including coffee as well as industrial metals like copper and energy products like WTI crude and natural gas.

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