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Stocks skittled by weak China data, strong dollar

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 12, 2016.

World stocks stumbled to their lowest level in a month on Thursday and the dollar and benchmark bond yields slipped, after a sharp decline in Chinese exports revived concerns about the health of the world's second-biggest economy.

Riskier assets have had a difficult few weeks, undermined by concerns about a potential rise in U.S. interest rates, the outcome of U.S. elections, Britain's departure from the EU and the health of German and Italian banks.

Asia's markets suffered falls overnight after data showed Chinese imports in dollar terms were back in contractionary territory, while exports dropped by a sharper-than-expected 10 percent.

Europe took a thumping too, with falls of 0.7-1.3 percent for Britain's FTSE, Germany's DAX and France's CAC pulling the region down for the sixth day in the last seven ahead of what was expected to be a 0.5 percent fall on Wall Street. [.N]

"We have got a stronger dollar and that is the market now pricing in the likelihood of a December U.S Fed rate hike," said Rabobank currency strategist Jane Foley.

"The other theme is the weakness of Chinese exports. That does help turn the spotlight on the recent weakness of the yuan. Then of course there is sterling."

Bets on a Federal Reserve move remained broadly unchanged after minutes on Wednesday from the U.S. central bank's last meeting had shown policymakers still grappling over...