Global recession fears continue to hammer the stock markets. Investors are dumping shares because they consider them too risky as world economic growth and company earnings slump.
Moscow suffered worst – trading on its two bourses was suspended until next Tuesday after stocks plummeted around 14 percent.
The EuroStoxx 50 index of top European shares started the week by rising 4.5 percent, but the rally did not last; shares lost five percent of their value on Tuesday, three percent on Wednesday and one per cent on Thursday before ending the week with a 4.8 percent decline.
They closed at their lowest in five and a half years. In Paris, which fell 3.5 percent on Friday, analyst Francois Chaultet said: “This was a really catastrophic session, following on from what happened overnight on the Asian exchanges, some of which had to be suspended. We saw losses of eight or nine percent, even 10 percent for some companies. It sends a shiver down your spine.”
Rates on major currencies have been gyrating wildly with traders buying dollars and the Japanese yen as they sought a safe haven from the global turmoil. The euro did recover somewhat after earlier tumbling to a two year low against the dollar. The UK’s recession woes caused sterling to suffer its biggest one-day drop against the dollar since September 1992.