Global stock market slump continues on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) - A global stock market slump is continuing on Wall Street, as traders worry about how committed the Federal Reserve remains to keeping up its bond-buying programme.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 112 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 15,191 in early trading on Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 16 points, or 1 per cent, to 1,638. The Nasdaq fell 29 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 3,433.

Stocks were down 2.7 per cent in Germany and 2.6 per cent in France. Japan's Nikkei plunged 7 per cent, but is still up 39 per cent this year.

Investors were spooked by minutes from the latest Fed meeting indicating that several policymakers are leaning towards slowing the central bank's bond-buying programme, which has been keeping interest rates low and encouraging investors to buy risky assets like stocks.