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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
New York returns to work
Clear-up operation in Manhattan
Normality may be elusive as thousands remain buried
New York's financial district is preparing to open for the first time since last week's devastating attack on the city.

If the majority of investors are able to execute their buy and sell orders, I think that will have been a success for the market

Brian Belski
Market strategist
Six days after the destruction of the landmark World Trade Center in an attack involving two hijacked passenger jets, the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is due to be rung at 0933 local time (1333 GMT).

It will be preceded by a three-minute silence and a chorus of God Bless America in honour of the victims, thought to number more than 5,000.

The shutdown, which began shortly after the attacks, has been the longest closure of the world's largest stock market since the Depression of the 1930s.

President George W Bush
Bush: "We'll show the world"
At the weekend, as emergency services continued their search for survivors amid the rubble of the twin towers, workers laid and rewired thousands of cables to restore telecommunications and power to Wall Street.

And, as financial analysts look ahead to what might happen when the markets reopen, political and business figures have urged Americans to move on from last Tuesday's attacks on New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

Recession fears

There are fears that the events of last week could badly affect business and consumer confidence, sparking a collapse in share prices and plunging the already faltering US economy - and the rest of the world's industrialised nations - into recession.

But analysts say this trend could be reversed by an outbreak of "patriotic" buying.

Some investor bulletin boards on the internet have received messages calling on people to buy at least one share as a way of showing patriotism and support for the financial district.

St Patrick's Cathedral, New York
St Patrick's Cathedral was packed for Sunday Mass
Returning to Washington from the presidential retreat of Camp David in Maryland, where he has been discussing the US military response to the attacks, President George W Bush expressed "great faith in the resiliency of the economy" on Sunday night.

He said: "No question about it, this incident affected our economy. But the markets open tomorrow [Monday], people go back to work, and we'll show the world."

Memorial services

His comments came as Americans flocked to churches and other places of worship to express their sorrow at the huge number of casualties resulting from the attacks.

Thousands attended a ceremony at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York, not far from the rubble of the twin towers.

And in a gesture of pride and defiance, the Empire State Building, which is now once again the tallest building in New York, was lit up in red, white and blue.

The reality is that in the last several days we haven't found anyone

Rudolph Giuliani
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says that 180 bodies have been retrieved from the rubble of the World Trade Center, 115 of which have been identified. Another 5,097 people are missing.

"The recovery effort continues and the hope is still there that we might be able to save some lives," Mr Giuliani said. "But the reality is that in the last several days we haven't found anyone."

Mr Giuliani has warned that the bodies of some of the missing people may never be brought out, as they were incinerated in the explosions and fires that followed the airliners striking the towers.

But rescue workers have now recovered the bodies of two aircraft crew members. Both had their hands bound.

This is worse than an earthquake

Rescue worker
Sunday saw rescue crews penetrate the lowest underground level beneath the towers for the first time.

They reached a commuter train station 80 feet (24 metres) below the ground, but found no survivors.

"I don't think we are going to find anyone alive," US Marshal Paul Stapleton said. "This is worse than an earthquake."

Many of New York's banks and brokerage firms have lost hundreds of key staff. Computer networks and trading records have been destroyed, and parts of Manhattan are still without telephones and electricity.

Dealers spent the weekend testing back-up systems and say they are ready to resume trading.

Regulations eased

But some businesses have struggled to get their offices up and running.

"I'll just be happy if the majority of investors are able to execute their buy and sell orders," said Brian Belski, a market strategist at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray. "I think that will have been a success for the market."

The US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has announced a series of measures to smooth the return to trading - including a change in the rules on firms buying their own stock, which will make it easier for them to prop up their own share prices.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"They think it could take six months to clear Manhatten"
The BBC's Jane Standley, in New York
reports on the continuing search for survivors buried beneath the rubble
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