Stock markets fall 0.5% in minutes, leaving traders perplexed


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    LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. and European stock markets
saw a sudden 0.5% drop in hefty volumes around 1130 GMT on
Tuesday, leaving traders scratching their heads and one calling
it a "micro flash crash".
    Nasdaq stock futures  NQc1  fell 0.5% in four minutes while
the S&P 500 e-mini futures  ESc1  fell 0.4%, but later recouped
some of those losses. Europe's benchmark STOXX 600  .STOXX 
index turned negative and traded 0.6% lower as of 1211 GMT.
    "Not a great deal of movement in other assets but equity
futures hit an air pocket," said an equity sales trader based in
    "Looking at the price action and volume, a sense the
machines took over for a second and resulted in a micro
    The volatility appeared to boost demand for safe-haven
bonds. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yields  US10YT=TWEB  dropped
almost 2 basis points to 1.591% before creeping back above 1.6%.

 (Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Dhara
 ((; +44 (0) 20 7536 7471; Reuters
Twitter @thyagu))

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