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Business

Stock markets slide as UK referendum nears

Stock markets in Europe have continued their fall as traders get increasingly worried about the potential effects of a possible UK exit from the EU. Germany's blue-chip index hit its lowest closing level in months.

Stock markets on Monday did not only

slide in Japan,

but also in Europe later in the day for pretty much the same reason. Traders were unhappy about the growing likelihood of Britain leaving the European Union after the June 23 referendum, with no one able to gauge the

economic impact of such a move

right now.

London's FTSE 100 index was 1.2 percent lower compared with Friday's close. Stocks fared even worse over in the eurozone.

The CAC 40 in Paris closed around 1.8 percent lower, and so did Germany's DAX 30 blue-chip index.

Watch video 02:38

Brexit and German companies in Britain

No help in sight?

The DAX ended the trading session at 9657,44 points, marking the lowest closing level in over two months. Banking stocks weighed in Milan, Italy, where the main index closed 2.9 percent down.

Markets in Europe were also on the edge as the US, Japan and Britain were all waiting for meetings of their central banks, with investors worrying about global growth prospects.

Few pundits expect any move on interest rates from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, but observers appeared divided over whether the Bank of Japan might announce further stimulus measures.

"Chances of the Fed raising interest rates this month are nil at this point," Zacks Investment Research analyst Mark Vickery said in a note to clients, indicating the central bank would not budge before the referendum in the UK.

hg/nz (AFP, dpa)

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