US stocks plunge amid global rout

New York, Feb 12 (IANS) US stocks dived on Thursday as investors rushed to safe-haven assets amid a global rout in risk assets.

By noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 333 points, or 2. 09 percent, to 15,581. The S&P 500 dropped 32 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,819. The Nasdaq Composite Index moved down 54 points, or 1.27 percent, to 4,229.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 3.9 percent as the market reopened after the extended holiday, catching up with the week’s turmoil.

Europe stocks were dragged down by the banking sector amid growing uncertainty surrounding interest rates and non-performing loans.

Plunging oil prices hit energy companies. Oil prices extend the losses amid supplies glut worries.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen highlighted risks to growth and inflation on Wednesday, which also weighed on the market.

US stocks closed mixed Wednesday, as Yellen signaled that the Fed still keeps door open to further interest rate hikes, but flagging risks that could delay any further moves.

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