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Equities hit by investor doubts

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Equities hit by investor doubts

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There is no sign of an end to the the world’s financial woes. Share markets continued to be extremely volatile on Tuesday as governments around the globe fight to unfreeze lending and borrowing locked up by fears of hidden losses at banks.

One day after witnessing their worst single session percentage fall on record, Europe’s stock markets overall drifted lower but finished the day very mixed. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares has lost a third of its value so far this year.

So where is it going, Frankfurt trader Oliver Roth said: “No one knows how much is still to come, there’s nobody in the world can really answer that question right now. My estimate is we’re in the middle of this crisis. There will be more turmoil and bankruptcies but we naturally hope that after all that the economy will be able to consolidate.”

Mounting concerns about the health of the financial sector hammered banks, with shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS plunging around 40%. And the International Monetary Fund has increased its estimate of losses from the financial meltdown to and is warning the world’s economic downturn is deepening.