London Guardian 
June 1, 2012
World markets plunged to their lowest level this year as poor US jobless figures and weak manufacturing data from Europe sparked renewed fears of a global slowdown.
As traders sold off shares in favour of safer assets such as gold, the FTSE 100 in London fell more than 1.3% to 5250.04, on track for its lowest close since November last year. European markets were also sliding fast, with Germany’s Dax down nearly 3.5%, France’s Cac down 2.5% and Spain’s Ibex 0.75% lower. In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average lost around 170 points – or 1.4% – in early trading. After overnight falls in Asia, the MSCI world index hit its lowest level since December.
The day’s economic data went from bad to worse, with the eurozone manufacturing sector suffering its worst month since June 2009 and its jobless rate hitting a record high of 11%. In the UK the manufacturing sector sufferered its second-biggest fall in 20 years, according to the latest purchasing managers’ index.