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Saturday 27th of June 2009
March 2, 2009

HSBC says profits down 62 percent in 2008


by Elaine Frei
HSBC says profits down 62 percent in 2008

European equities markets plunged Monday as banks fell after HSBC (LSE: HSBA; NYSE: HBC; Euronext: HSBC; SEHK: 005) said its profits dropped 62 percent last year and said that it will have to raise more capital.

In London the FTSE 100 saw its lowest close in six years as it fell 5.33 percent to 3,625.83 while the FTSE 250 dropped 3.12 percent to 5,860.46.

HSBC had the worst day on the 100 after its report, falling 18.78 percent, with Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) close behind with a decline of 15.27 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 5.16 percent to 682.31, its lowest close in six years and only a point above its all-time low, while the Dax fell 3.48 percent to 3,710.07, the CAC-40 was 4.48 percent lower to 2,581.46 and the IBEX dropped 4.6 percent to 7,270.5.

Asian markets were also lower on concerns that the recession is getting worse, with sentiment hurting exports from the region.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was down 3.81 percent to 7,280.15 while the Topix index fell 2.92 percent to 734.59 and the Mothers market dropped 1.68 percent to 292.23.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 2.82 percent to 3,203.8 while the S&P/ASX200 was down by the same percentage to 3,250.1, while in Taipei the Taiex was 2.88 percent lower to 4,425.83, the Sensex dropped, 3.2 percent to 8,507.08, the Straits Timex Index was down 3.85 percent to 1,533.4, the Hang Seng was 3.86 percent lower to 12,317.46 and the Kospi dropped 4.16 percent to 1,018.81.

The exception to the declines was the Shanghai Composite, which added 0.51 percent to 2,093.45.

At just before 2 p.m. in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 3.24 percent to 6,833.94, falling below the 7,000 level for the first time since 1997, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 3.2 percent to 1,333.72 and the S&P 500 had dropped 3.82 percent to 707.01.

Crude oil, metals and grains prices were all lower on the session.

The US dollar and the yen saw gains while the pound declined.

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