Adria Cimino and Chua Kong Ho
Monday, Oct 6, 2008
Stocks tumbled around the world, the euro fell to a 13-month low against the dollar and oil dropped below $90 a barrel as the year-long credit market seizure caused bank bailouts to spread through Europe. Government bonds rallied.
Russia’s Micex Index fell 15 percent, leading declines among benchmark stock indexes, before trading was halted. BHP Billiton Ltd. slid 9.3 percent and UBS AG lost 10 percent as commodities producers and banks dropped the most in the MSCI World Index. The gauge of 23 developed countries is down 30 percent this year, the worst annual performance since at least 1970.
The euro weakened more than 1 percent against the dollar after the German government and state banks were forced to pledge $68 billion to rescue Hypo Real Estate Holding AG. Crude dropped 39 percent from its record on July 11 as the global economy slows. Investors seeking the safety of government bonds pushed yields on two-year Treasury notes to 1.5 percent, 50 basis points below the Federal Reserve’s main interest rate.
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“It’s like a fire,” said Emmanuel Soupre, a fund manager at Neuflize OBC Asset Management in Paris, which oversees the equivalent of $33 billion. “It’s easier to extinguish five minutes after the start. Now we’re about an hour into it. We have to act quickly to assure the continuity of the financial system to avoid an irreversible contamination of the entire economy.”
The MSCI World Index lost 2.8 percent to 1,106.3 at 10:45 a.m. in London as all 10 industry groups decreased. National markets in China, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. fell more than 4 percent.
Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index sank 5.4 percent as BNP Paribas SA said it will take control of Fortis in Belgium and Luxembourg. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 4.4 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 2.5 percent, as JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by deposits, fell 4 percent.
This article was posted: Monday, October 6, 2008 at 3:51 am