United States 美国
US equities went into retreat last week as heightened concerns over the state of the US economy, high oil prices and geopolitical tensions saw investors become increasingly jittery. As a result, the Dow Jones fell 0.9%, while the tech-laden NASDAQ Index declined 1.1%. Worries that the US economy is heading for a 'hard landing' came to a head last week, with evidence of a sharp slowdown in the housing market. News that sales of existing homes fell 4.1% (to their lowest level since January 2004) and that sales of new homes dropped 4.3% in July provided firm evidence that the housing market is slowing. Reports from homebuilder, Toll Brothers, that its fiscal third-quarter profits had dropped 19% added to the concerns. Although the data did ease fears over further rises in interest rates, the news coupled with reports that US durable goods orders had fallen 2.4%, saw some commentators even suggest that a recession could be on the way. Ongoing geopolitical tensions and a rise in oil prices also played a part in spooking investors. Oil prices reached USD 73 a barrel after the UN rejected Iran's offer to meet for peace talks in light of the fact that the Iranian government continued to refuse to halt its uranium enrichment programme. Worries that tropical storm, Ernesto, could reach the Gulf of Mexico and disrupt oil production also supported prices, while concerns that the ceasefire between Israel and Hizbollah could be broken added to investor jitters.
European bourses had a challenging week, as investors were buffeted by concerns over the state of the US economy, rising oil prices and some disappointing economic data from the eurozone. In terms of the major markets, the French CAC 40 and UK's FTSE 100 suffered the largest falls, declining 0.5% and 0.4% respectively, while the German DAX fell by a modest 0.1%. Concerns over a slowdown in the US coupled with some unfavourable data on the eurozone economy helped send equities into a downward spi