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Global economy pushed to the brink

Financial markets experienced another day of intense volatility as investors struggled to interpret an emergency statement from the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies, which met on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington.

Investors were initially unimpressed by the G20’s message of support for the global economy, but several said they did not want to get caught out should policymakers unexpectedly decide on a radical policy response.

Gold continued to slide sharply and US oil prices traded below $80 a barrel, their lowest in more than a year. Shares rallied modestly in Europe and the US, accompanied by selling in government bonds and the dollar. Many finance ministers reported a greater sense of urgency in discussions on the eurozone overnight on Thursday. “Patience is running out in the international community,” said George Osborne, UK chancellor of the exchequer. “The eurozone has six weeks to resolve this political crisis.”


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