As widely expected, the markets have continued to slide in the wake of the Federal Reserve's decisio...
As widely expected, the markets have continued to slide in the wake of the Federal Reserve's decision to cut the US base rates to 5%.
Anyone thinking a cut in US interest rates could turn around the desperately woeful markets must be living in cloud cuckoo land. The markets would respond much more keenly to a few more announcements like that from Nokia last week. The telecom group actually said it would meet profit expectations and there aren't many firms saying that right now.
With the US markets closing lower yesterday the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 at one stage was down 2%, the Techmark 5% with only the Alternative Investment Market climbing in value. The Footsie ended the day 106.1 points lower at 5540.7 - its lowest figure since 14 December 1998 while the techMark lost 72.65 points, 3.6%, to 1976.65.
With Merrill Lynch hinting that the US tech slowdown might spill over into Europe, investors shied away from UK-listed stocks CMG, Logica and Misys, which lost 37p to 640p, 112p to 993p and 38p to 512p respectively.
The Competition Commission sent a shockwave through the banking world when it announced it was considering recommending a tax on banking profits as well as regulatory changes to encourage competition in providing financial services to small companies. Barclays lost 38p to 2,000p, the Royal Bank of Scotland fell 92p to 1,430p and Halifax slid 23p to 649.5p.
In midday trading the US markets were all lower. The Dow Jones fell 160.11 to 9560.65, the Nasdaq lost 23.03 to 1834.41 and the Standard & Poor's 500 lost 12.50 to 1130.12.
Shampoo to detergent group Procter & Gamble fell 75 cents to $65.15 on news it plans to cut between 10 to 20% of its workforce. Learning Tree lost $8.50 to 18 after a profit warning while Powerwave fell $1.88 to 12.31 on the same reasoning.
Paul Bruns and Elaine Parkes
3,000 left to transfer
Record numbers of people aged 90 plus
From 3 to 10 October