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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 21:22 GMT
Terrorism fears spur share fall
Wall Street traders
Terror fears affected stock markets on Monday, with the Istanbul bombings and the threat of further al-Qaeda attacks causing jitters on world bourses.

London-based Arab-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi said al-Qaeda was planning more attacks against the US and her allies, including Japan.

Shares on Wall Street slid, as had markets in Europe and Japan, but recovered somewhat by the close.

Bonds and gold, traditional safe havens in troubled times, both gained ground.

The renewed fears came as some analysts voiced caution about the recent runup in markets around the world, saying that stocks could have risen too far, too fast.

But the sharp falls seen throughout the day brought buyers back in the final hour of the day, as some traders sought bargains.

At the close, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was down almost 0.6% or 57.85 points to 9,710.83, having bottomed out on a 1.4%, 140-point fall just before 1830 GMT.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell further, losing almost 1.1% to 1,909.61, while the broader Standard & Poors 500 index was down 6.72 points or 0.6% at 1,043.63.

'Risk to investments'

Earlier in the day, Europe's markets had taken a much greater pummelling.

"It's a safe-haven day," said Lex Werkheim of Eureffect, an Amsterdam brokerage, as gold reached a seven-year high in London.

The FTSE 100 index was down 58.1 points or 1.32% at 4,338.9, pulling it back from Friday's 14-month closing high.

By the close, the German Dax was down 3.24%, while the French Cac 40 shed 2.59%.

Fears over terrorism first surfaced in the Far East, where Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed at its lowest level in three months, below the symbolic 10,000 level.

Ian Stannard, foreign exchange strategist BNP Paribas, said: "This is the first time there has been a specific terrorist threat made against Japan.

"That is a new risk to investments in Japan."


FTSE 100
22.84 0.42%
18.55 0.32%
Cac 40
14.37 0.38%
Dow Jones
78.53 0.76%
35.31 1.58%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes

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