European stocks took their lead from Asia's selloff on Thursday, where the Nikkei 225 Average had its biggest one-day loss since the 1987 stock market crash after weak U.S. economic data intensified fears that recent global financial rescue measures will not be enough to stave off a recession.
Commodities and mining stocks have been hit the hardest over the past two days, as demand for various basic resources dwindles on recession fears.
When global markets tumble, experts tell CNBC where to buy in the flight to quality:
The Downward Spiral Continues
Oil continued its downward spiral today as it hit $72 just before the EIA oil inventory numbers were announced. When traders heard inventories had grown by 5.6 million barrels, the price collapsed even further. "These numbers should definitely push us down to $67," says Tom Reilly, SCS Commodities trader." Meanwhile, gas supplies were up an unexpected 6.9 million barrels. How low can prices go? Reilly believes prices will hold in the mid-60s prior to the coming OPEC meeting next week.
Oil to Hit $60
Peter McGuire, MD of Commodity Warrants Australia has revised down his price target for oil to $60 a barrel from $80. But he believes that it is unlikely to drop as low as $50.
Dow, AEX to Fall 27%
The 2008 chart of the DJIA closely reflects the 1929 chart of the index, Edward Loef, technical analyst at Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers noted. Loef expects the Dow to bottom next week, where it will lose 27% from the recent bailout bounce.
Loef also sees the Netherlands' AEX index falling to 219 by the end of next week.
Cash Preservation Tips
Have lots of cash, lots of gold and short commodities, says David Roche, global strategist at Independent Strategy.
Best Places to Make Money
There is much more money to be made in currency markets and credit markets than there is in stock markets, believes David Roche, global strategist at Independent Strategy.
Betting on the Dollar
Best bet to place in the currency market? Go long the dollar against the yen and the high yielders, suggests Lee Wai Tuck, currency market strategist at Forecast.
Flight to Quality Down Under
Nobody is certain when the markets will hit bottom, but when they do start to recover, quality companies should recover faster than those riskier investments. Aussie blue-chips that have dependable cash flows and strong balance sheets are attractive. Companies like CBA, Westpac Bank, CSL, Cochlear, Woolworths, Lion Nathan, Telstra, Spark Infrastructure, Duet Group and AGL Energy all look good, according to Francesco De Stradis, investment advisor at Ord Minnett.
"The thing to do right now is invest defensively and to really try to husband one's cash… Raising more cash than normal is appropriate…Concentrating equity exposures in counter-cyclicals such as staples and healthcare is appropriate because even while no stock or sector is recession-proof, those sectors are more resistant," Douglas Peta, market strategist at J. & W. Seligman, said.
Any tech company, especially software companies, which generates a lot of cash, may be a good place to look for investment opportunities, Peta added.