- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2008

UPDATE:

U.S. markets took another hit Monday, closing with a 200-point loss after spending much of the afternoon in positive territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average spent most of the day on an upward swing, starting down by more than 150 points but then rising into gains during the afternoon of almost 200 points.

The gains came after the U.S. Commerce Department reported that home sales increased in September by 2.7 percent, up from August. But by the end of the day, worldwide fears of a global recession dragged all three major U.S. indexes into losses.

The Dow finished down by 203.18 points at 8,175.77, a loss of 2.42 percent. The broader S&P 500 closed down 27.85 points at 848.92, a loss of 3.18 percent, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ closed down 46.13 points at 1,505.90, a loss of 2.97 percent.



Asian markets tumbled earlier in the day on concerns that Japan’s surging currency will hurt its exports, with Tokyo’s Nikkei index finishing at its lowest point in 26 years.

U.S. futures had been down three to four percent before the start of trading.

The Nikkei lost 6.4 percent in Monday’s trading, finishing at 7162.90, as the yen continued to rise against the dollar and the euro.

The U.S. Treasury Department issued a joint statement with Group of 7 finance ministers and central bank governors to reaffirm our shared interest in a strong and stable international financial system.

“We are concerned about the recent excessive volatility in the exchange rate of the yen and its possible adverse implications for economic and financial stability,” the statement read. “We continue to monitor markets closely, and cooperate as appropriate.”

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also fell sharply Monday, losing more than 1,500 points and closing with a loss of 12.2 percent. It was the worst trading day for the Hang Seng since 1991.

European markets were influenced by Asia’s bad trading day. France’s CAC 40 index was hit the hardest, with losses of 3.96 percent, closing with a loss of 126.44 points, at 3,067.35. Britain’s FTSE 100 index closed with a loss of 30.77 points at 3,852.59, a loss of .79 percent. But Germany’s DAX index closed with a small gain of 38.97 points at 4,334.64, a pickup of .91 percent.

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