This week, financial markets were buffeted once again by events that not so long ago would have been improbable, if not unthinkable. The result has been considerable intraday volatility with a downward trend.

There is a natural inclination to explain each of these developments individually. But doing so could be a mistake as each is influenced by common phenomena, including a lessening of the effectiveness of central bank policies. This could have consequences that are even more severe if the turmoil spills over into the real economy.

A partial list of this week’s attention-grabbing developments demonstrates the degree of volatility we are experiencing:

* Amid a global banking sector selloff, the stock prices of several large European banks overshot and traded at levels not seen for several decades.

* Oil prices ended another volatile session on Thursday just above $25 a barrel, a level not seen for more than a decade.

* European bond yields fell to eye-popping levels. This is true even of those already trading at negative nominal yields.

* The Swedish central bank pushed its policy rate further below zero, to minus 0.50 percent from 0.35 percent.

* On the foreign exchange markets, the dollar weakened against the currencies of advanced countries, most notably the yen, even though the Bank of Japan has taken its interest rates negative.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday registered its 28th consecutive session with intraday moves of more than 200 points.

* After a long period of neglect, gold regained its luster, as bullion surged to $1,263 an ounce on Thursday, the highest since February 2015.