In the face of the worst financial crisis in nearly 80 years a panic sell-off of shares is continuing. Having lost confidence in the stability of financial institutions, investors are dumping stocks of all kinds, sending the world’s markets into free fall.
Overall European shares lost 7.4% of their value on the EuroStoxx 50. In London the FTSE 100 fell 7.85%, while in Paris the CAC 40 plummeted 9.04%, its worst ever one-day decline.
Wall Street veteran Alan Valdes, Director of Floor Operations for Hilliard Lyons, is deeply worried. He said : “I am stunned. I’ve been here 30 years, and I don’t think anyone behind me (on the NYSE trading floor) has seen a market like this. It’s very disconcerting. There’s no volume. So it is very troubling to see the way the markets are. We’ve always wanted a global economy, but now it’s coming back to bite us, because as Europe’s down, that’s pushing us down.”
As Wall Street tumbled, European shares suffered their worst one-day percentage fall on record and nothing helped boost confidence, including the fact that several European governments followed Germany’s lead and offered guarantees to bank savers.
In Moscow, panic selling of shares prompted a halt in trading for a while after the indexes plunged. The biggest finished the day down 19%, hurt by falling oil and metal prices, worries about the global financial sector and negative sentiment domestically.