Europe’s stock markets have cut their losses after oil rose back above $30 a barrel, despite another slide in Asia on January 26.
London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 5,847.5 points, with declines of about 0.4% in both Frankfurt and Paris.
Shanghai tumbled 6.4% to its lowest close since December 2014, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.4%.
Brent crude rose 1.2% to $30.87 a barrel, reversing earlier falls, while US oil was up 1% at $30.63.
Stock markets have made the rockiest start to the year in recent memory as worries over the economic strength of China- considered for years the engine of world economic growth – have intensified.
Other investment prices have been buffeted by falling confidence.
Although China is still growing the pace is slowing, and as demand for key industrial products such as oil and iron ore slips back, so do their prices.
Oil prices were hit again earlier on January 26 by figures from China showing annual rail freight volume – a key economic indicator – fell 11.9% last year, compared with a decline of 3.9% in 2014.
The Shanghai index has already fallen about 17% this year.
On the FTSE 100, among the top risers were Randgold Resources and Fresnillo.
Gold rallied to its highest level since November at $1,112.86 an ounce. The safe-haven commodity has risen nearly 5% this year, after sliding more than 10% in 2015.
The US Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee starts a two-day policy meeting on January 26 and is not expected to make any change.
Meanwhile, Chinese state media have warned billionaire investor George Soros against betting on falls in the yuan or the Hong Kong dollar.
George Soros, who made more than $1 billion from shorting sterling in 1992, has said he was betting against the S&P 500, commodity-producing countries and Asian currencies, although he has not specifically mentioned the yuan or Hong Kong dollar.
China’s central bank has been making plenty of liquidity available to the banking system to avoid any cash squeeze ahead of the long Lunar New Year holiday early next month.
Traders said that the bank would inject 440 billion yuan into the money markets, the biggest daily injection in three years.
European markets continue to tumble on October 16 amid fears of a global economic slowdown and the impact of the Ebola crisis.
The main stock markets in Germany, the UK and France fell more than 2%, tracking a sell-off in Asia and on Wall Street.
On October 15, London’s FTSE 100 saw its heaviest one-day fall in 16 months.
Borrowing costs for Greece and Italy rose, and investors looking for a safe haven pushed the gold price higher.
Analysts said that a raft of disappointing economic and corporate news had unnerved investors.
Recent poor data from China, Germany and the US have heightened worries that global economic recovery could go into reverse.
European markets continue to tumble on amid fears of a global economic slowdown and the impact of the Ebola crisis
Meanwhile concerns about the spread of Ebola and its impact on emerging markets have added to the worries. Companies linked to travel and tourism have seen their share prices fall in the past couple of weeks, offsetting hopes that the recent fall in the oil price would lower their long-term fuel costs.
The price of US crude has gone below $80 a barrel for the first time since June 2012, pulling down oil-related shares such as BP and Tullow.
Financial shares were among some of the biggest fallers across Europe. Royal Bank of Scotland was down another 3.6% after falling heavily on October 15.
Meanwhile, in France, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas fell 5% and 4% respectively amid worries about their exposure to a slowdown in southern European economies.
Greece’s borrowing costs rose on Thursday on fears about the country’s exit from the bailout it received during the financial crisis.
The yield on Greek 10-year bonds rose 85.2 basis points to 8.72% – its highest since January. Investors are worried that the country could struggle to borrow money once it is weaned off bailout money.
In Spain, Madrid’s benchmark IBEX 35 index fell 4.28% after a bond issue failed to raise as much as the government hoped.
Meanwhile, gold traded at a one-month high, while the price of copper and some other metals fell to multi-month lows amid concern that demand would fall because of an economic slowdown.