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Monday, October 27, 2008

FT.com / Markets - FTSE falls further after Asia slides

Financial Times FT.com

Published: October 27 2008 08:28 | Last updated: October 27 2008 09:13

London equities continued to fall fast on Monday, after fears of a global recession spelt big losses for Japanese banking stocks and took the Nikkei 225 to a 26-year closing low.

The FTSE 100 surrendered 185 points to 3,698.6, a loss of 4.8 per cent, with financial stocks once more at the vanguard of the selling on fears that the sector had further to fall against a backdrop of global recession.

“After last week’s turmoil in equity markets many had been hoping that the new week would bring about a degree of stability, but at least so far there’s little to suggest this will be the case,” said Matt Buckland at CMC Markets.

Oliver Stevens, head of dealing at IG Markets said: ”The question that remains now is what sort of recession we should expect? In Europe, we now have a mix of weaker growth and improving inflation that should urge central banks to cut rates by at least 50 basis points.”

The travails of the Japanese market set the tone in early European trade, as investors around the globe faced fears more co-ordinated government action was the only hope to avoid a worldwide recession. The Nikkei 225 shed 6.4 per cent to finish at 7,162.90, its weakest close since November 1982.

Comments from the weekend’s meeting of the Group of Seven leading economies about their concern at the volatility of the Japanese yen and its impact on financial and economy stability chimed with the growing fragility of sentiment, and led to talk of potential intervention. The yen dropped slightly against the dollar, trading between the late Y93 and early Y94 range, recently at Y93.76.

Sterling’s slide continued. The pound lost a further 2½ per cent against the dollar to $1.5350. Against the yen, it lost 2.6 per cent to Y141.99

Worries about the impact of a shrinking global economy on demand hit London’s oil stocks as crude lost the $63 a barrel mark, falling $2 to a 17-month low of $62.15 . BP lost 4.3 per cent to 420½p and Royal Dutch Shell gave up 5.3 per cent to £13.50.

Mining stocks added their own heavy weighting to the losses. The sector’s biggest casualty was ENRC, down 10 per cent to 295p.

Financial stocks were also caught in the downdraft as investors speculated that the crisis had further to play out. London Stock Exchange lost 10.6 per cent to 426½p. HSBC was 10 per cent weaker at 626½p and Man Group lost 7.1 per cent to 294p.

Engineering group GKN was the biggest faller on the FTSE 250 after it issued a profit warning. The company said turbulence in the automotive sector meant its fourth quarter profit would miss guidance issued with its interim results. Its shares fell 13.2 per cent to 102p.

Overall, the FTSE 250 fell 183 points or 3.2 per cent to 5.611.0, with mid-cap asset managers standing out on the list of falling shares.


-94.00 -6.59%
Change
3.08m
Volume
As of Oct 27 2008 10:18 GMT. Quotes are delayed by at least 20 minutFT.com Markets - FTSE falls further after Asia slides

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