World markets in freefall as Wall St opens

World markets in freefall as Wall St opens

The freefall in world markets continued today as Wall Street opened with more heavy losses.

In Dublin, the gloom continued as the Iseq slumped 6.2%, or 188.46 points to 2,849.33.

Trading screens turned red in the UK as global recession fears fuelled panic across markets worldwide.

London’s Footsie was trading below the 4,000 mark for the first time in more than five years – down almost 10% – as a dire start in US markets offered no respite.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell more than 7% yesterday, tumbled a further 8% in early trading.

Across Europe, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s Dax were also showing losses of more than 10% in a day of trading carnage.

Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital, said: “Markets are normally held in equilibrium by the balance of fear and greed. But at the moment, greed has gone into hiding and fear rules the roost.”

Overnight losses in Asia saw Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index close almost 10% lower – down 881 points in its worst session since Black Monday in 1987.

In London, banking stocks were among the biggest victims of the turmoil as speculation mounted over the billions they may need to strengthen their finances.

Halifax Bank of Scotland was the biggest Footsie faller, down 25%. Royal Bank of Scotland lost 22%, while Barclays shed 16%.

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