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Global markets tumble ahead of U.S. data; tech stocks fall


SINGAPORE -- European markets sank in early trading Thursday ahead of U.S. inflation data that may lift bond yields and possibly push interest rates higher. In Asia, losses on Wall Street overnight snowballed, triggering a slump in technology stocks. China's benchmark hit a four-year low and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell by an unusually wide margin of almost 4 per cent. "Equity markets were pulverized today," with investors in "full out retreat," Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. The "latest sneeze" from Wall Street "could morph into a global markets pandemic," he added. Investors are wary of possible further U.S. interest rate hikes, which would raise the cost of corporate borrowing and