A broker sits at his desk at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday. Germany’s DAX Index fell 3.3% to its lowest level since 2014. Picture: AFP PHOTO/DANIEL ROLAND
A broker sits at his desk at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday. Germany’s DAX Index fell 3.3% to its lowest level since 2014. Picture: AFP PHOTO/DANIEL ROLAND

NEW YORK — Stock indexes worldwide tumbled on Monday, led by technology stocks on Wall Street and banking stocks in Europe on persisting fears of a global economic slowdown.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields hit their lowest in a year on demand for assets deemed less risky.

Wall Street continued Friday’s technology-led sell-off, with the benchmark S&P 500 stock index falling more than 2%. The S&P financial index fell about 3%, with shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citigroup dragging down the index.

European shares extended the previous week’s big losses, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top regional shares falling more than 3% to its lowest in 16 months. Cyclical sectors such as banking and cars bore the brunt of the selloff.

The STOXX Europe 600 banking index tumbled more than 5.5%, putting the index’s losses for this year at more than 24% on concerns about banks’ profit outlook amid a negative rate environment. Germany’s DAX Index fell 3.3% to its lowest level since 2014.

The cost of insuring the European financial sector’s senior debt against default also climbed to its highest level since late 2013.

US crude prices fell after a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Venezuela failed to reassure investors of measures to bolster sagging prices.

Shares of Chesapeake Energy fell more than 50% to their lowest levels since 1999 after sources said the natural gas company had tapped existing adviser Kirkland & Ellis to explore restructuring options.

"We need oil to stabilise to provide some confidence for investors, partly because to a degree, investors’ stress is high, earnings visibility is low, and market internals continue to weaken," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Brent crude was last down 37c, or 1.09%, at $33.69 a barrel. US crude was last down 47c, or 1.52%, at $30.42 per barrel.

MSCI’s all-country world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was last down 7.5 points, or 2.05%, to 359.07.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 379.37 points, or 2.34%, to 15,825.6, the S&P 500 lost 45.32 points, or 2.41%, to 1,834.73 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 130.44 points, or 2.99%, to 4,232.71.

Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index was last down 3.66% at 1,236.11.

Many Asian share markets were shut for the Lunar New Year holiday. Chinese markets will remain shut this entire week.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields reached a one-year low of 1.7400%, as the stock market decline and concerns about slowing global growth increased investor appetite for safe-haven government debt. US 10-year Treasury notes were last up 30/32 in price to yield 1.7431, from a yield of 1.848% late on Friday.

"Weakness in global equities is adding pressure on Treasuries," said Ian Lyngen, senior government bond strategist at CRT Capital in Stamford, Connecticut, in reference to yields.

The dollar fell to a roughly 14-month low against the yen of 115.170 yen, partly on doubts about the effectiveness of the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy.

Safe-haven spot gold reached a peak of $1,198.70 an ounce, its strongest since June 22.

Reuters