HBOS gains nearly 25 percent on session

| October 8, 2008
HBOS gains nearly 25 percent on session

European equities markets were lower again Wednesday after they were not helped substantially by interest rate cuts from the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, Riksbank and others, while markets were also hurt by a lowered forecast for economic growth by the International Monetary Fund.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 5.18 percent to 4,366.69 while the FTSE 250 dropped 3.1 percent to 7,200.87.

Most banks were lower even after the announcement of plans by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Bank of England to help banks during the current crisis, but HBOS (LSE: HBOS) added 24.47 percent to lead the 100 and Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS; NYSE: RBS PRM) was up 0.78 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 6.14 percent to 941.93 as the IBEX fell 5.2 percent to 10,297.6, the Dax was 5.88 percent lower to 5,013.62 and the CAC-40 dropped 6.31 percent to 3,496.89.

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region saw sharp declines, with Indonesia halting trade for the first time since a bombing of the exchange in 2000 after the Jakarta Composite dropped 10.38 percent to 1,451.67.

Declines came on fears that more banks will fail globally and that the market for Asian exports will decline.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was down 9.38 percent to 9,203.32, a decline of nearly 1,000 points, the biggest one-day decline for the index in 21 years, which erased $250 billion in value on the session.

The Topix index fell 8.04 percent to 399.01 and the Mothers market of small and mid caps dropped 10.65 percent to 271.68.

The Shanghai Composite was 3.04 percent lower to 2,092.22 and India’s Sensex was down 3.14 percent to 11,328.36, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries fell 4.96 percent to 4,369.8 and the S&P/ASX200 was 4.99 percent lower to 4,388.1.

The Taiex was down 5.76 percent to 5,206.4, the Kospi fell 5.81 percent to 1,286.69, the Straits Times Index was 6.61 percent lower to 2,033.61 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 8.17 percent to 15,431.73.

In mid-afternoon trade on Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.76 percent to 9,519.11 while the Nasdaq Composite had added 2.13 percent to 1,792.25 and the S&P 500 had gained 1.47 percent to 1,010.85.

Crude oil prices were lower on gains in crude oil and gasoline inventories in the US last week, while base metals declined, precious metals were mixed and grains prices saw gains.

The yen made gains on a retreat from risk after most investors did not consider the interest rate cuts as enough to do any good to help overcome the credit crisis.

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