World stocks in uneven performance amid further turmoil

October 7th, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Oct 7 (DPA) Stock market trading around the world Tuesday was uneven as investors appeared uncertain where to turn next in the ongoing international financial turmoil and new trouble spots emerging.While investors continued to look for signs about whether the US finance sector $700-billion bail-out plan would start to show results, the focus of international concern was suddenly turned on tiny Iceland, where the government passed emergency laws to prevent the country’s overstretched banking system from going under.

At the same time, in data underlining the extent of the crisis, the International Monetary Fund warned that US financial sector losses could total $1.4 trillion as a housing crisis at the centre of the global turmoil has yet to reach its peak.

In a bid to try to stabilize conditions, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt provided a further infusion of 250 billion euros ($338 billion) to commercial banks in a regular one-week loan at an interest rate of 4.99 percent. The volume was 60 billion euros higher than last week’s loan.

In addition to the weekly loan, the ECB also pumped $50 billion into interbank money markets, the same amount as Monday.

In London, the FTSE-100 in the midst of a roller-coaster ride was up by by 1.7 percent, or 76 points, to 4,665.2 points at lunchtime, after surging ahead by almost 3 percent in early morning trading.

Monday, the FTSE plunged by almost 8 percent in the largest one-day percentage decline since 1987.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 during a day of volatile trading was down a slight 0.25 percent to 5,373 points at mid-afternoon. Financial institutes were among the losers, led by Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest, which was off 7.4 percent at 44.30 euros.

Troubled property lender Hypo Real Estate, which is subject of a 50-billion-euro (68-billion-dollar) bail-out after running into liquidity problems, saw its shares climb 4 percent to 4.89 euros, following news that its chief executive had stepped down.

Carmaker Volkswagen posted gains of 19.2 percent to stand at 348.66 euros, while Daimler AG was up 5.29 percent at 28.64.

In Paris, the CAC-40 was up almost 2.6 percent at mid-afternoon to 3,807.74 points, in trading a day after the bourse had suffered its largest single-day loss in its 21-year history. Advancing issues outpaced losers by 3 to 1.

In Milan, the bourse rebounded Tuesday from the previous day’s heavy losses with the S&P/Mib benchmark index up by 2.38 percent to 24,342 points in afternoon trading. Leading the charge were bank Intesa Sanpaolo up by 7.59 percent and energy group Eni whose value rose 3.85 percent.

The surge followed some jittery morning trading when telecommunications group Telecom, industrial giant Fiat and bank Banco Popolare were all suspended from trading due to losses.

Elsewhere in Europe, in Madrid the Ibex-35 index had gained 3.33 percent to 11,083 points by mid-afternoon. The Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Banesto banks gained more than 4 percent. The energy company Gas Natural soared by 8.37 percent.

In Poland, Warsaw’s main WIG20 index was up 19 percent at 3:30 pm (1330 GMT), at a value of 2,222.57 as the market rebounded after the second-worst day in the exchange’s history Monday.

In Amsterdam, the main AEX index remained volatile, first rising, then falling, before then gaining again, with a 1330 GMT reading of 316.50 points, up 1.26 percent. Insurer Aegon and bank and insurance company ING Group were among the losing shares.

In the Baltic region, the guideline Baltic Benchmark Index (BBI), which includes data from the Tallin, Riga and Vilnius exchanges, closed 6.08 percent lower at 339.88.

In the Nordics region, the OMX Stockholm 30 benchmark index was flat mid-afternoTuesday after closing down 7.1 percent Monday, the biggest drop since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. In Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 Index was down 0.3 per cent while in Helsinki the decline was just over 1 percent.

In Oslo, the bourse was also hovering in positive territory after closing dropping nearly 10 percent Monday.

In Vienna, the leading ATX index was down by 4.54 percent by mid- afternoon. Companies exposed to business in Central and Eastern Europe suffered the biggest losses, such as Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, which was down 8.51 percent.

Earlier in Asia, the Tokyo, stocks continued their downward course, as the Nikkei plunged below 10,000 for the first time in nearly five years before recovering slightly at Tuesday’s closing.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 317.19 points, or 3.03 percent, to close at 10,155.9. It had dipped below 10,000 in morning trading for the first time since December 10, 2003. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues dropped 21.44 points, or 2.15 per cent, to 977.61.

But Australia’s stocks managed a modest gain after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) delivered a bigger-than-expected cut of one percent in its key rate. The mid-morning announcement triggered a rise on the market, with the AXS 200 finishing 78 points, or 1.7 per cent, higher at 4,618 points.

In Seoul, the benchmark Kospi index rose 7.35 points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 1,366.10. But the main index of the technology- heavy Kosdaq market slipped 4.44 points to 401.95.

In Manila, the Philippine Stock Exchange’s 30-share composite index shed 75.34 points or some 3 percent to close at 2,424.19 from Monday’s finish of 2,499.53 points.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index ended at 528.71, down 23.09 points or 4.18 percent.

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