Page last updated at 22:37 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Shares fall in volatile trading

Share trader. Picture from 15 October
The falls followed hefty drops in global share prices on Friday

Global stock markets have been hit again with major indexes in the US, Europe and Asia closing the day down, after a session of volatile trading.

On Wall Street, the main Dow Jones index fell 2.42%, despite being boosted earlier in the day by a surprise rise in new home sales in September.

The FTSE in London and Cac in Paris closed behind, with European indexes touching five year lows during the day.

Prior to that, Japan's Nikkei index had ended at a 26-year low.

The Dow Jones was down 203 points to 8,175.77. The broader S&P 500 closed down 3.18% at 844.95, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 2.97% at 1505.90.

At close the FTSE in London closed down 0.79%, or 30.77 points, at 3,852.59.

In Paris the Cac was down 3.96%, or 126 points, at 3067.35, although the Dax in Frankfurt was up 0.91% at 4,334.64, shares in Volkswagen soared 146%.

Dow Jones intraday chart
*All Times GMT

Earlier the FTSE had fallen 5.6% to 3,665 points - its lowest level since April 2003.

The pound also continued its recent falls, dropping against the dollar to $1.5341 in early trading before recovering slightly to $1.5591.

The euro was also lower, sliding to $1.2377, around levels last seen in April 2006, before coming back to $1.2548.

FTSE 100 INDEX: 27 October 2008
FTSE 100 intraday chart
*All Times GMT

"There's lots of volatility, not just in the equity market, but in the interest rate and currency markets too," said Neil Parker, market strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland.

"We're going to get further big swings as the markets watch for what the authorities are going to do."

There is more pain left. The global turmoil does not appear to be resolving soon
Atul Mehra, J M Financial

Asian impact

Japan's Nikkei 225 index ended down 6.4% at its lowest level since 1982.

On the currency markets, Japan's yen stayed near its 13-year high against the US dollar, despite threats of G7 intervention.

In other market news:

  • Oil prices fell to 17-month lows. US light crude was down to $61.75 a barrel. Brent was at $61.41.
  • India's Sensex index dropped 6.1% to its lowest level since November 2005 before closing down 2.2%
  • The Seoul market reversed early losses to close up 0.8% after South Korea's central bank cut its key interest rate from 5% to 4.25% at a rare, unscheduled meeting
  • In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 12.7% in its biggest single-day fall since 1991
  • Chinese shares also fell, with the Shanghai Composite Index losing 6.3% to its lowest level since September 2006
  • In the Philippines, the main index fell 12.3%, as the country's second biggest bank Banco de Oro Unibank reported a loss of 1.3bn pesos ($26.8m; 16.8m) because of its exposure to the US investment bank Lehman Brothers
  • European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet says another cut in eurozone interest rates is "possible"
  • Argentine stocks fell more than 5%, closing at their lowest level in more than five years

"There is more pain left. The global turmoil does not appear to be resolving soon," said Atul Mehra at the brokerage J M Financial in Mumbai.

Yen warning

Earlier on Monday the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations issued a statement warning that the strength of the yen was a threat to economic stability, which was taken as a threat of co-ordinated action to reduce the value of the currency.

Dow Jones intraday chart
*All Times GMT

While the yen briefly weakened, it soon climbed back towards Friday's 13-year high against the dollar.

The yen has been strengthening as a result of the end of the carry trade, in which traders borrowed the Japanese currency and used it to buy currencies with higher interest rates.

Brown's solution to the current global problem is likely to lead to net gains
Tom, UK

As the difference between Japanese rates and those elsewhere in the world has fallen, traders have been ending the carry trade, which means they have been using other currencies to buy yen, which has boosted the Japanese currency.

In other currency news, the Australian government intervened for a second time to support its currency, which was trading at a 5-year low against the US dollar. One US dollar was worth 1.64 Australian dollars.

The Australian central bank last intervened more than a year ago and before that had not done so since 2001.


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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