At midday: TSX, Wall Street continue to fall as sell-off extends globally

Wall Street slumps as investors dump tech stocks

The 800-point drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on October 10 may be a blip, and so could the almost 5% decline over five days in the S&P 500.

The losses were widespread, and stocks that have been the biggest winners on the market the last few years, including technology companies and retailers, suffered steep declines. Boeing lost 4.7 per cent to US$367.57 and Alphabet, Google's parent company, gave up 4.6 per cent to US$1092.16.

Technology stocks slid more than 2 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index down 3 percent after Swiss vacuum valve maker VAT Group said demand from chip equipment makers was softening.

In only seven trading sessions this month, yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries have climbed about 18 basis points and crested over 3.20 percent, hitting their highest levels in more than seven years.

The S&P 500 index sank 3.3 percent to 2,785.68.

Wall Street stocks plunged Wednesday, with major indices losing more than three percent in a selloff prompted by the sudden jump in United States interest rates.

At 12:44 p.m., the Nikkei 225 average traded at 22,496.24, down 1,009.80 points, or 4.30 percent, from Wednesday's closing. But higher interest rates can slow economic growth and erode corporate profits.

"Both companies highlighted rising costs, not only input costs but increasing operating expenses (and) marketing expenses", she said. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares closed down 1.57 percent. The stock fell 16.8 percent to 49 cents. It was more than US$40 five years ago.

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"Equity markets were pulverized today as investors remain in full out retreat and even the most pessimistic of equity bears are still in shock by the sheer magnitude of the move", he added.

"The stock market in the US has started to take notice, and will continue to, particularly if the speed at which rates rise becomes alarming", Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of Doubleline Capital, told Reuters last week.

Oil futures fell. USA crude gave up $1.27 to $71.90 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline shed 2.7 per cent to $2.02 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1.2 per cent to $2.39 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.6 per cent to $3.28 per 1,000 cubic feet. Silver dipped 0.5 per cent to $14.33 an ounce.

US gold futures settled up $1.9, or 0.16 percent, at $1,193.4.

The CAC 40 in France dropped 2.1 percent, Germany's DAX lost 2.2 percent and the FTSE 100 in London fell 1.3 percent.

"The direct concern is higher interest rates", said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

The euro and sterling rose, underpinned by optimism for a Brexit deal, while the USA dollar lost ground against a basket of currencies even as US yields hovered near multiyear peaks. The British pound rose to $1.3197 from $1.3146.

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