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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 02:08 GMT 03:08 UK
Subdued market mood persists
Financial markets maintained their subdued tone, as investors marked time ahead of the re-opening of US stock exchanges on Monday.

The Tokyo market opened marginally higher and crept up during the morning, with the Nikkei 225 share index ending Friday's morning session up almost 1% at 9,704.18 points.

European stock markets, Thursday close
Frankfurt, Dax
London, FTSE 100
Paris, Cac 40

Japanese investors were cheered by earlier stability on the European markets, and by hopes that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) might opt further to loosen its monetary policy.

BoJ governor Masaru Hayami is due to address the Japanese parliament later on Friday, and a meeting on monetary policy is scheduled for next week.

For the third day running, the market opened half an hour later than usual, and price limits were at half their normal levels.

European calm

A few hours earlier, European shares had ended the day little changed, although some of the worst hit stocks in recent days, notably insurers and travel firms, recovered some ground.

The Frankfurt stock exchange
The Frankfurt market observed a minute's silence

The Toronto stock exchange, the only North American market to operate as normal on Thursday, also saw a slight recovery from the gloomy mood of earlier in the week.

Most exchanges observed a minute's silence, and activity throughout the day was overshadowed by events in the US.

Other markets quiet

The dollar showed only small movement as sense of calm and certainty continued to re-establish itself among markets following the turmoil prompted by Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the US.

The Chicago Board of Trade
Trading in US bonds was subdued
Trading resumed in US bonds after a two-day halt, and prices surged over hopes that American interest rates will be cut to help shield the economy from the after-effects of the attacks.

Many investment banks are predicting that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by 0.5 percentage points, possibly as early as Monday.

The US Treasury confirmed that it would launch a sale of government bonds on Monday, in the hope of raising $4.6bn in short-term funding.

Stabilising markets

Traders credited the renewed stability in markets largely on the pledges by governments, central banks and economic authorities around the world to seek ways to help stabilise the world financial system.

Authorities have promised, following the attacks, to boost the global economy by making it easy and cheap for companies to borrow money to spend and invest.

While the European Central Bank (ECB) declined to take the opportunity to cut interest rates on Thursday following a scheduled rates meeting, the bank's steady-as-she-goes policy had been widely forecast.

ECB president Wim Duisenberg had warned against hasty rate cuts, saying they could give the impression of panic.

Richard Grasso, New York Exchange chairman
"The equity markets will resume operations no later than Monday"
Hardwick Simmons, Nasdaq
"No later than Monday with every hope of opening Friday"
Bob Parker, Credit Suisse Asset Management
"The key factor is what happens to the US consumer"

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View market data
Launch marketwatch
The Markets: 9:29 UK
FTSE 100 5760.40 -151.7
Dow Jones 11380.99 -119.7
Nasdaq 2243.78 -28.9
FTSE delayed by 15 mins, Dow and Nasdaq by 20 mins
See also:

13 Sep 01 | Business
US markets to re-open on Monday
13 Sep 01 | Business
Disaster planning saves Wall Street
13 Sep 01 | Business
Asian markets stabilise
12 Sep 01 | Business
Gloom lifts from stunned markets
12 Sep 01 | Business
Q&A: The global economic impact
12 Sep 01 | Business
Will US consumer confidence fade?
12 Sep 01 | Business
Action to contain market crisis
12 Sep 01 | Business
Attacks shake oil and gold prices
12 Sep 01 | Business
Sombre mood in the City
11 Sep 01 | Business
Market turmoil after US attacks
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