Why are global markets tumbling?

€4bn was wiped off the value of Irish shares yesterday...

banking, iseq, finance, markets, business

Richard Drew / AP

China may be closed for the New Year holiday, but other Asian stock markets continued to tumble in value overnight with the Nikkei Index in Tokyo closing 5% lower and banking stocks from Japan to Australia were hit in-line with their European and US counterparts yesterday.

The value of many of Europe’s leading bank stocks has fallen by more than 20% to date this year, while shares in Deutsche Bank, Europe’s largest bank but one of its least well capitalised, fell by more than 9% yesterday alone.

There’s growing concern that with historic-low interest rates set to continue, bank’s lending margins are coming under increasing pressure; and that some of them may not be as well capitalised to ride out a storm as previously thought -and that a few may even have trouble paying the coupon or dividend on some of their less secured bonds.

In Ireland, shares of both publicly quoted banks fell by about 10% as the ISEQ lost more than €4bn in value, falling by 5.5% - its sharpest one-day decline since 2010.

Investors are concerned about low oil prices and slowing economic growth in China.

Bill O’ Rahilly, director of Edison Investments in Ireland and a long-standing observer of China’s economy spoke to Breakfast Business:

He says that the country "wants to escape the middle-income trap" - as it looks beyond manufacturing to move away from acting as the "workshop of the world," and invests in technology and green energy.

Rory Gillen of Gillen Markets also joined Vincent Wall to give his assessment of the latest market volatility.

"The evidence suggests that this isn't a recession-led sell-off - it is sentiment driven," he told Newstalk.