Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Analysts Predict End of World as We Knew It and Shares at Lowest for 13 Years

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Analysts Predict End of World as We Knew It and Shares at Lowest for 13 Years

Article excerpt

Byline: HUGO DUNCAN

SHARE prices could be heading down to levels not seen for 13 years, City analysts warned today.

Almost ?50 billion was wiped off the value of British companies in early trading as the London stock market slumped following a rout in the Far East.

However, the FTSE 100 showed signs of resilience this afternoon and was down just 11.16 to 3872.2 after a steady start to trading on Wall Street tonight.

Top British companies share prices have now fallen to levels unseen since the 2003 Gulf War with analysts warning the FTSE is heading back down towards the 3000-point level.

Ian Scott of Nomura told his clients it was the end of the world as we knew it in a typically bearish note.

No sector has been immune to the slide in share prices. Today, Norwich Union owner Aviva was at one stage down more than nine per cent while rival Legal & General was down more than eight per cent. They both later recovered but were still down sharply. Travel company Thomas Cook fell nearly eight per cent on fears that a consumer slowdown will force people to cut back on holiday plans. British Airways fell by more than six per cent even though falling oil prices will make its fuel bill cheaper.

Over the last six months it has not been just banks and financial services companies prices which have plummeted. Transport, media, manufacturing and retail sectors all have their fair share of companies whose prices have more than halved in that time. Even conventionally safe areas such as mining and pub companies have not escaped.

Investors fears were sparked today when Japans Nikkei index fell by more than six per cent to close at its lowest for 26 years. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped almost 13 per cent and the Manila stock market in the Philippines closed down 12 per cent. However, in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down just 5. …

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