European shares slump

October 22nd, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Frankfurt, Oct 22 (DPA) European shares slumped more than two percent in opening trading Wednesday, picking up on a downbeat end to Wall Street and steep falls in Asia.As renewed concerns emerged about the outlook for the global economy and profits, Europe’s blue-chip Stoxx 50 began the trading day down 2.5 percent at 2,286 points.

The fall was mirrored across key national European markets with shares in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich all sliding by more than two percent.

Fresh economic concerns resulted in the oil price dropping by 3.3 percent below $70 a barrel on expectations of falling demand for energy. In July energy prices were heading towards $150 a barrel.

Wednesday’s renewed fall in European stocks came in the wake of a plunge in shares in Tokyo as investors worried about the grim outlook for Japanese company earnings with the Nikkei 225 index tumbling 6.79 percent to end 8,674.69.

As trading opened in Europe, shares in Hong Kong had also lost more than six percent with Shanghai’s composite index coming under pressure as well on concerns about the impact on Chinese company earnings of a global economic slowdown.

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