Sunday, Sept 29, 2008
U.S. lawmakers prepared to vote on Monday on a $700 billion government fund to buy bad debt as the global financial crisis kept markets on tenterhooks by forcing European authorities to rescue troubled banks.
As investors around the world hung on every twist and turn in Washington, Belgian-Dutch group Fortis was nationalized and British mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley faced the same fate.
Fortis is the first major European bank to buckle since U.S. mortgage defaults triggered global financial turmoil in August last year.
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Investor reaction to the U.S. bailout was overshadowed by the renewed worries that the banking system troubles spreading across the globe. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Average [JP;N225 11743.61 -149.55 (-1.26%)] shed 1 percent, and markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were also lower.
U.S. stock market futures fell, shedding early gains.
The U.S. dollar edged up, but mainly because the euro [EUR-TN 1.4354 -0.0266 (-1.82%)] and pound [GBP-TN 1.8065 -0.0368 (-2%)] took a hit as the toll on financial firms spread across the Atlantic.