London — An alarming spread of street protests and civil unrest across the world in recent weeks looms large on the radar of financial markets, with investors wary that the resulting pressures on stretched government finances will be one of many consequences.

Money managers and risk analysts seeking a common thread between often unconnected sources of popular anger — in Hong Kong, Beirut, Cairo, Santiago and beyond — reckon the unrest is particularly worrying following years of modest global economic growth and relatively low joblessness.

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