European shares slid to their lowest since October 2014 following losses in U.S and Asian stock markets as the relentless slump in oil prices continued to drag on risk assets. Grace Pascoe reports.
They'd made welcome gains on Tuesday but it wasn't to last. Asia shares have plunged to a four year low - with the MSCI index down 3 percent. European stocks followed suit - the FTSE Eurofirst 300 sinking by a similar amount - it's biggest fall this year. Baader Banks's Stefan Scharffetter. (SOUNDBITE) (German) STEFAN SCHARFFETTER, TRADER FOR BAADER BANK, SAYING: "If we look at where we stood with the DAX at the end of l ast year, 10,700 points, we are now 9,300 points, I would not call that a hiccup. That is the beginning of a crisis." Oil fell further - U.S. crude by more than 4 percent - to just above $27 a barrel. The global supply glut now not the only worry. Jeremy Batstone-Carr is from Charles Stanley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES STANLEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR SAYING: "It is a demand problem too and that suggests to me that whilst we are probably closer to the bottom than we have been, we may not be at the bottom yet." The IMF - after their revised growth outlook - talked of a market over-reaction to oil and China But some say China doesn't deserve to be made the scapegoat. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES STANLEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR SAYING: "China is not the basket case that it is being made out to be, I believe that there are far greater concerns in relation to the health of the Japanese economy and also the United States economy. Which to me are being somewhat downplayed." China markets didn't fall as much as many others - largely because of hopes of more stimulus from the central bank. That could well come before the Lunar New Year in two weeks.