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Monday 01st of December 2008
September 17, 2008

HBOS sees big decline


by Elaine Frei
HBOS sees big decline

European equities markets were lower Wednesday after US housing starts declined in August and on declines among miners as investors worried about demand for metals.

In London the FTSE 100 was 2.25 percent lower to 4,912.4 while the FTSE 250 dropped 1.18 percent to 8,309.8.

The top five decliners on the 100 were all from either the banking or mining sector, with HBOS (LSE: HBOS) having the worst day with a decline of 19.18 percent and miner Kazakhmys down 10.76 percent on the session.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.95 percent to 1,070.1 while the Dax fell 1.75 percent to 5,860.98, the CAC-40 was 2.14 percent lower to 4,000.11 and the IBEX dropped 2.29 percent to 10,661.4.

Most equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower as investors were not convinced that the rescue of AIG by the US government will do much to alleviate the global credit crisis.

Tokyo’s markets saw gains, with the Nikkei 225 up 1.21 percent to 11,749.79 while the Topix index added 0.35 percent to 1,121.43 and the Mothers market gained 1.37 percent to 440.03.

Other gainers in the region included the Taiex, which was up 0.77 percent to 5,800.87, and South Korea’s Kospi, which added 2.7 percent to 1,425.26.

In Australia, however, the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.6 percent to 4,722.2 and the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.63 percent to 4,769.7 while the Straits Times Index was 1.71 percent lower to 2,419.29 in Singapore, the Sensex was down 1.89 percent to 13,262.9, the Shanghai Composite fell 2.9 percent to 1,929.05 and the Hang Seng dropped 3.63 percent to 17,637.19.

At just past 1:30 p.m. in New York, Wall Street was substantially lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 3.23 percent to 10,702.07 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 4.01 percent to 3,119.31 percent and the S&P 500 had dropped 3.94 percent to 1,165.74.

Crude oil prices and prices for precious metals were higher but copper declined on demand worries, while grains prices were higher.

The pound and the US dollar both weakened.

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