GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil slide hits European stocks, safe-haven assets sought

Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:23am EST
 
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* Brent crude on track for sharp weekly loss

* European stocks down, Wall Street set to open lower

* German 10-year bond yield at record low (Updates prices, adds quotes)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A relentless slide in crude prices kept pressure on energy stocks and currencies exposed to oil exports on Friday, dampening appetite for riskier assets and encouraging investors to seek safety in core government bonds.

Brent crude dropped to a 5-1/2-year low of $62.75 a barrel and was set for a weekly loss of more than 8 percent. Falling oil prices have pushed up volatility across asset classes.

The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index fell 1.6 percent, dragging down the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index which fell 1.4 percent and was on course for its biggest weekly loss since May 2012. Political concerns over Greece also hurt European stocks, though the Athens general index edged higher after losing 20 percent in three days.

Wall Street looked set to open lower, according to stock index futures .

The Norwegian crown, strongly linked to oil export revenues, hit an 11-year low against the dollar, while the Canadian dollar slumped to a 5-1/2 year trough against the greenback . There was no end in sight for the decline of the Russian rouble, which hit another record low.   Continued...