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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 11:18 GMT
Nasdaq down 45% from peak
Nasdaq market screens
Nasdaq screen numbers have been getting smaller
The American Nasdaq stock market has hit a fresh low for the year as investors continue to turn away from technology firms.

The Nasdaq composite index slumped 5% on Tuesday to end at 2,734.98.

In March the index stood above 5,000. This means it has now fallen more than 45% from its peak.

The latest fall followed the release of figures showing a drop in consumer confidence, and a big drop in demand for benchmark goods such as cars, aircraft and furniture.

This had a knock-on impact in Asia where tech stocks led the decliners as Japan's Nikkei index slipped 1% to 14,507 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slumped 2.5%.

In Europe London's FTSE 100 index was down 58 at 6,191.8, Germany's Dax index 45.6 points lower at 6,579 and France's Cac 40 index 46 poitns lower at 6,028 by 1100 GMT.

US analysts are concerned the figures signal a fall in future profits for firms which will particularly hit technology companies, with their brief trading histories.

Europe down

"Too many companies that have reported good earnings have warned of revenue growth slowing in the quarter ahead," said Paul Cherney, analyst at S&P Marketscope.

"[Techs] are still the most overvalued, although not as much as they were. The slowing economy is only adding to the fear that that it is going to be virtually impossible for them to surprise."

The focus of negative sentiment on technology stocks was reflected in the performance of the Dow Jones industrial average, which lists a broad sweep of US companies, and which fell just 0.36% to 10.507.58.

Old economy firms such as pharmaceuticals and banks were among gainers as investors fled to companies considered more reliable cash cows in periods of economic slowdown.

On Tuesday London's FTSE 100 index shed 2% to close at 6,249.8 points, with tech stocks leading the decline.

In Frankfurt, the benchmark Dax index closed 71.35 points lower at 6,625.56, while in Paris the CAC-40 index finished down 102.11 points at 6,069.22.

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23 Nov 00 | Business
Markets steady after Nasdaq tumble
22 Nov 00 | Business
Nasdaq bears brunt of share slide
14 Nov 00 | Business
Nasdaq bounces back
28 Nov 00 | Business
Signs of a US slowdown
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