World stocks slip as Bernanke offers no new aid to boost US economy

European and US stocks fell after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the central bank would take no new steps to boost the US economy and ward off another recession.

In a highly anticipated speech at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bernanke did not suggest that the Fed might embark on a new round of bond-buying to increase the money supply in the economy. He did, however, suggest the US government may need to act to stimulate hiring and growth.



The Fed has already pledged low interest rates through to 2013. Some central bank watchers say the Fed has reached the limits of what a central bank can do to aid an economy that is beleaguered by problems that monetary policy can't fix — high unemployment and massive government debt.



"He appears to be saying that the politicians need to start pulling their weight," said Paul Dales, Senior US economist at Capital Economics.



By late afternoon in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.8 percent at 5,088.35 while Germany's DAX shed 1.6 percent to 5,494.83 and France's CAC-40 slipped 1.8 percent to 3,060.27.



Wall Street also dropped, with the Dow down 0.3 percent at 11,111.83 and the S&P 500 down less than 0.1 percent at 1,158.78.



Market sentiment was hurt earlier by figures showing the slowdown in the US is occurring faster than predicted.



The Commerce Department said the US economy grew in the April-June quarter at a 1 percent annual rate, down from an earlier estimate of 1.3 percent and below analyst expectations for a 1.1 percent reading. The data renewed concerns that the US might be headed for another recession.



In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses throughout the day before closing with a 0.3 percent gain at 8,797.78. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.8 percent after a volatile morning to 1,778.95.



Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave up early gains and fell 0.9 percent to 19,582.88. Benchmarks in Australia, Singapore and the Philippines were also lower while stocks in mainland China were mixed.



Worries that the US could be headed for another recession have in recent weeks caused huge volatility in equities, bonds and foreign exchange.



On Thursday, Germany's main index suffered a flash slide — about 4 percent in 15 minutes — that analysts and traders were at a loss to explain but which dented investor confidence in other global markets.



Bank stocks got some initial support from news that billionaire investor Warren Buffett will invest $5 billion in troubled Bank of America, the largest US bank. Those gains, however, did not last long as the wider market fell.



Mainland Chinese shares were mixed with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edging 0.1 percent lower to 2,612.19, after dipping almost 1 percent earlier in the day. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 1,169.95.



In currency trading, the euro dipped to $1.4344 from $1.4368 late in New York on Thursday. The dollar slipped to 77.03 yen from 77.55 yen.



Benchmark oil for October delivery was down $1.91 to $83.99 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude rose 14 cents to finish at $85.30 on Thursday. In London, Brent crude for October delivery was down 48 cents to $110.14 on the ICE Futures exchange.



Traders were watching the violence in Libya for any signs that the country might stabilize and start working on restoring some of the 1.6 million barrels of oil it used to produce before its civil war erupted.



That and fears of a global economic slowdown have weighed on oil prices in recent days.

AP

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...

Primary Teaching Supply

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories