MSCI’s index of global equities fell 1.5 percent, dragged down by broad declines in Europe and Asia.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 414.23 points, or 1.81 percent, to 22,445.37, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 50.8 points, or 2.06 percent, to 2,416.62 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 195.41 points, or 2.99 percent, to 6,333.00.
“China is cooling and the euro zone is slowing down, and some of the economic indicators from the U.S. have been a bit soft recently, but yet the Fed hiked rates and suggested that two more interest rate hikes were lined up for 2019,” Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets in London, told Reuters.
Middle East markets
Stock markets in the region dropped on Thursday, as oil prices retreated.
In Dubai, the index fell 1.4 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank decreased 2.5 percent, while DAMAC Properties and Union Properties, plunged 9.9 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.
Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index edged 0.1 percent lower.
Saudi Arabia's stock index dropped 1.4 percent as all 14 petrochemical stocks retreated in response to the drop of oil prices, with Saudi Basic Industries dipping 1.2 percent.
Qatar's index dropped 0.8 percent with Qatar National Bank and Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan both shedding 1.9 percent.
Egypt's blue-chip index EGX30, added 0.5 percent with Commercial International Bank (COMI), the largest lender, gaining 2.7 percent.
Kuwait’s index dropped 1.1 percent, Bahrain and Oman’s indices were mainly flat.
Oil prices fell again on Friday on oversupply fears.
Brent crude fell 53 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to settle at $53.82 a barrel, after falling during the session to $52.79 a barrel, the weakest since September 2017.
U.S. light crude oil settled down 29 cents at $45.59 a barrel, after earlier touching a session low of $45.13 a barrel.
Both contracts fell more than 11 percent in the week. Since reaching multi-year highs at the beginning of October, both crude oil benchmarks have lost more than a third of their value in their steepest decline for three years.
The price declines were exacerbated by thin trade and risk aversion ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, traders told Reuters.
The dollar gained on Friday as equities dropped and investors saw the greenback as a safe haven.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.76 percent.
Gold prices dropped on a stronger dollar on Friday.
Spot gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,254.81 per ounce at 1904 GMT, after hitting its highest since June 26 of $1,266.40 on Thursday.
U.S. gold futures settled down 0.8 percent, at 1,258.10 per ounce.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)
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