Financial stocks lead US markets lower

April 15th, 2008 - 7:50 am ICT by admin  

New York, April 15 (DPA) Stocks were pushed down by financial shares on Wall Street Monday after Wachovia Corp reported unexpected losses and said it was seeking a $7-billion cash infusion from stock sales. “The news out of Wachovia would suggest the environment has probably deteriorated faster in recent weeks, to a greater extent than people may have anticipated,” Jonathan Armitage, of Schroders Plc in New York told Bloomberg financial news.

Wachovia’s first quarter losses were $393 million compared with earnings of $2.3 billion in the same period last year, the fourth-largest US bank said in a statement.

Its shares fell 2.26 dollars, or 8.1 percent, to $25.55 per share. Citigroup shares also fell, dropping 85 cents to $22.51 a share, after Merrill Lynch analysts predicted the bank’s profits will be hurt by a weakening consumer financial market and slowdown in capital markets.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 23.36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,302.06. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 4.51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,328.32, and the technology- heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 14.42 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,275.82.

The US currency traded at 63.15 euro cents and 101.10 Japanese yen.

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