Nick Beams – World Socialist Web Site

After an initial rise following the decision by the US Federal Reserve to lift interest rates by 0.25 percentage points on Wednesday, stock markets around the world have experienced significant declines over the past two days.

The biggest falls were in the United States, where the Dow was down by 368 points at the close of trade on Friday, a drop of more than 2 percent, while the more broadly based S&P 500 fell by 1.8 percent. The CBOE VIX index, which measures market volatility and is often referred to as the “fear gauge,” went over 20, a level regarded as indicating a high degree of market stress.

Markets also fell around the world after rising in the immediate aftermath of the Fed decision. The Euro Stoxx index dropped by 1.4 percent on Friday after rising earlier in the week. In Japan, the Nikkei index closed 1.9 percent lower.

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