Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Shares Slide Far from Over' Is Warning from New York

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Shares Slide Far from Over' Is Warning from New York

Article excerpt


SHARES around the world continue to plumb new depths. Tokyo stocks this week slumped to their lowest for a quarter of a century while New York shares continue to trade at their worst levels since 1997. Share values in London have collapsed by 35% in the past year, and are currently at a six-year low.

A warning comes that things are likely to get distinctly worse. A leading intellectual at New York University says the S& P 500 index could drop below 600 this year as the global recession deepens.

Professor Nouriel Roubini says: "Even if you do everything right with fiscal and monetary policy, we're still going to be in a recession through the end of this year and into next year." The S& P 500 has plunged 25% to 676.53 in 2009, its worst start to a year, following a 38% decline in 2008, the steepest annual retreat since 1937.

London investors were today again fighting a fierce rearguard action in the face of further global market turbulence.

Early losses were soon clawed back, enabling the FTSE 100 index to post a rise of 3.11 points to 3545.51.

It promised to be a better session for HSBC following yesterday's sell-off, which saw the shares slump to their lowest in 14 years. That was prompted by hedge funds selling the shares short ahead of them going ex-rights this week. They rallied 1p to 350p on news that Hong Kong authorities have launched an investigation into a late sell-off in yesterday's auction.

Also making up lost ground in the financial sector were Legal & General, up 1.2p at 24.2p, Old Mutual, 1.4p ahead at 32.2p, and the UK's biggest hedge fund operator Man Group, gaining 12.2p at 167.7p. Barclays, off 2p at 59.4p, must decide soon whether it plans to be included in the Government's toxic assets protection scheme.

Brokers say it may be put off by the cost of the insurance which, in the case of Lloyds TSB, down 2.2p at 41.5p, reached [pounds sterling]15 billion, and may result in the Government raising its stake by as much as 77%.

Land Securities fell back 47p to 333p as the shares went ex the property giant's [pounds sterling]756 million rights issue at 270p. …

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