The return of volatility

Equity markets sold off heavily over the last 24 hours with the S & P 500, the Nikkei and the Hang Seng Index losing around 4 percent each. European equity markets have opened down 1.5 percent today, adding to Wednesday’s 1.5 percent pullback. Volatility as measured by the VIX index – Wall Street’s so-called fear barometer – has surged by 40 percent to 23 percent.

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