The stock markets in Europe were on the downside on Wednesday as traders were increasingly fearing a recession of the global economy.
This fear was fueled by a contraction of the German economy in the second quarter and a lower-than-expected production of Chinese industry.
There have also been developments in interest rates on US and UK government bonds that have been good predictors of a recession in the past.
The AEX index was 1.7 percent lower at 536 points around 2.30 pm Dutch time. The German DAX index lost 2 percent to 11,521 points. The British FTSE 100 and French CAC40 were 1.7 percent and ... percent lower respectively.
The American stock exchanges are also expected to open lower at 3.30 p.m. Dutch time. The Dow Jones index is starting 1.2 percent lower, while the Nasdaq technology fair is likely to open 1.5 percent lower.
On Wednesday, for the first time since 2007, the interest rate on a US ten-year government bond fell below that on a two-year government bond. Normally the interest should be higher the longer the duration of a bond. Someone who has lost his or her money longer wants a higher reimbursement for this.
If investors would prefer to put their money away for a lower fee for longer, this would indicate that they are worried about future economic developments. In the past, a recession often followed when this happened, although this could sometimes take a year and a half.