The FTSE 100 index closed at its lowest level in more than six years, and US markets are heading in ...
The FTSE 100 index closed at its lowest level in more than six years, and US markets are heading in that direction too, as Vodafone Group and Barclays took huge knocks in its earnings potential and Iraq rejected the UN's latest resolutions on weapons inspections.
The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index plummeted 120.7 points or 3.1% to 3739.4, its lowest close since August 1996, even though the index had earlier in the day climbed 1.7%. And the FTSE All-Share index also fell 53.46 points or 2.9%to 1817.05.
Vodafone lost 4.75p or 5.3% to 84.25p after an analyst at Morgan Stanley cut its price forecast for Vodafone shares to 118p from 140p.
Barclays also fell 30.75p or 7.8% to 366.25p after a JP Morgan analyst cut his 2002 earnings-per-share forecast to 38.70p from 41p and lowered his 2003 estimate to 41.40p from 45.4p, because there is a believe Barclays' revenue growth will slow.
The rising price of crude oil, which today hit a 19-month high, may also be the reason for falling confidence in the economy. Iraq refused to accept any new United Nations resolutions on weapons inspections, raising the chances of a US attack.
In London, the November Brent crude-oil futures contract was up 67 cents or 2.4% at $29.10 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange.
The Nasdaq has so far fallen to its lowest level in six years, led by Microsoft, as worries about economic recovery and war with Ira deepened.
The Nasdaq shed 28.92 points or 2.4% to 1192.17 before lunch in the US, which is around 75% below its March 2000 record.
And more than eight of 10 stocks listed on the Standard & Poor's 500 index, taking the S&P500 down 13.63 points or 1.6% to 831.76 while the Dow Jones declined 133.05 points or 1.7% to 7853.97.
Microsoft fell $2.09 to $45.37 after Steve Ballmer, ceo of the world's largest software maker, told the Financial Times he sees no improvement in Europe until the telecommunications and financial services industries recover.
Wal-Mart Stores also dropped after the world's biggest retailer said this month's sales will be at the bottom end of estimates. Wal-Mart dropped $2.08 to $52.63, the biggest drag on the S&P 500 after Microsoft as same-store sales in September are expected to be only a 4% to 6% gain.
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