Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 21:23 UK

Government measures help shares

Frankfurt share trader
Stock markets have gained on measures to aid banks

Global shares rose on Monday, with investors encouraged by signs that government action is starting to help the financial markets.

With sentiment also lifted by Federal Reserve boss Ben Bernanke saying the US government should spend more, Wall Street's Dow Jones index added 4.7%.

In Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 ended up 5.4%, and Germany's Dax added 1.1%.

Plans by President Bush and European leaders for several summits on the crisis partly cheered investors.

However, analysts said markets were still very uncertain and nervous.

The Dow Jones closed up 413 points to 9,265.

The FTSE earlier finished up 220 points to 4,283, while Germany's Dax added 54 points or 1.1% to 4,835.

Bank bail-outs

Mr Bernanke told the US House of Representatives budget committee that a fresh round of stimulus spending may be needed to help give the economy a lift.

His comments were welcomed by Democratic leaders in Congress, who called on Republicans and the White House to work together to formulate a plan.

In Europe, the French government become the latest to unveil a rescue package for banks.

It is to inject 10.5bn euros ($14bn; 8.2bn) into the country's six largest banks.

The French move followed after similar announces by the Swedish and South Korean governments.

On Monday, the Swedish government outlined a 1.5 trillion kroner ($205bn; 117.2bn) plan to support its financial sector institutions - including credit guarantees and a bail-out fund.

Over the weekend, South Korea had announced a similar $130bn bail-out package for banks.

Earlier the European Central Bank head said the ECB would do whatever was needed to boost market confidence.

In Geneva, the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned the financial crisis could lead to a 20m rise in the number of unemployed worldwide by the end of 2009.

ILO boss Juan Somavia said this would be the "first time in history that we pass 210 million".

Growth slowdown

European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet had sought to reassure nervous European investors during an weekend interview on French radio.

"We will always do what is necessary, so that I can continue to say to our citizens 'you can have confidence, you will have medium-term price stability,'" he said.

Mr Trichet confirmed that Europe's economies were slowing, saying: "We are in a period of a very, very important slowdown in growth."

"Even if there had not been a financial crisis we have the crisis linked to the petrol shock and commodities shock. Luckily that is easing a little bit," he added.

However, he declined to say whether or not Europe was in a recession.


FTSE 100
23.70 0.44%
19.54 0.34%
Cac 40
14.48 0.38%
Dow Jones
78.53 0.76%
35.31 1.58%
BBC Global 30
20.65 0.36%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes


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