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MH17 downing adds to markets' anxiety

Friday, July 18, 2014 - 02:23

World markets come under pressure as the downing of Malaysian airliner adds to a growing nervousness over geopolitical instability in a week that's already seen an eruption of violence in the Middle East and new sanctions on Russia. Are investors factoring in enough risk? Joanna Partridge reports.

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Passengers checking in for Malaysian Airlines flights at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. Still trying to come to terms with the fate of MH17, bound for Kuala Lumpur, which was downed over eastern Ukraine. World markets remained under pressure - after a week which has seen new sanctions on Moscow and unrest in Gaza. European stocks saw more selling - with Russian markets taking the heaviest hit. While German bond yields remained near record lows, driven down by the uncertainty. Fidel Helmer is from Hauck and Aufhaeuser in Frankfurt. SOUNDBITE: Fidel Helmer, Capital Markets Expert, Hauck and Aufhaeuser private bank, saying (German): "There are many problem areas: the escalation of violence in the Middle East plays a big role in the world economy, there are the trouble spots in Iraq and Syria and that unsettles the markets." Despite these many geopolitical risks, Craig Erlam from Alpari believes we could have already seen most of the market reaction. SOUNDBITE: Craig Erlam, Market analyst, Alpari, saying (English): "A common theme what we've seen recently with both geopolitical events and also economic events as well, we'll get this bad news, we'll get this thing which shakes up the market and what we saw yesterday was certainly one of those events, a big, strong event actually, but then the next day or the next couple of days we see it start to wear off and we see people start to look for the positives again and buy those dips." That's leading to questions whether investors are pricing in enough risk. The scale of the disaster could increase international pressure to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, says Alisa Lockwood from IHS Country Risk. SOUNDBITE: Alisa Lockwood, Head of Europe and CIS, IHS Country Risk, saying (English): "The West will be considering its options in terms of ways to assist Ukraine in finally crushing the separatist threat in the east and with all the accusations that are being levelled at Russia in terms of its support of the separatists, it will also put additional pressure on Russia to come to the table and co-operate." The tense wait for news continues for families and friends of those on board. It's also more bad news for Malaysia Airlines - still reeling from the disappearance of flight MH370 in March - and when it and its competitors are struggling against low-cost rivals. Some have queried MH17's route over Ukraine - as other carriers had reportedly been avoiding the area. Malaysia Airlines shares fell again sharply, leading to questions whether Malaysia Airlines can survive after this second disaster.

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MH17 downing adds to markets' anxiety

Friday, July 18, 2014 - 02:23