UK: LONDON: STOCK EXCHANGE WATCHES WALL STREET ANXIOUSLY



English/Nat Investors and dealers in London were anxiously watching events on Wall Street on Tuesday afternoon as the Dow Jones index fell further.

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UK: LONDON: STOCK EXCHANGE WATCHES WALL STREET ANXIOUSLY

English/Nat

Investors and dealers in London were anxiously watching events on Wall Street on Tuesday afternoon as the Dow Jones index fell further.

A nervous City saw shares in leading British companies bounce back once trading started in New York.

The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 index of British blue chips slipped close to the day's lowest levels when 132 (b) billion dollars was wiped off shares in a 457 points fall in the minutes before Wall Street opened at 1430 G-M-T.

But within 10 minutes of U-S trading resuming the FTSE recovered and was showing a fall of 376.9 points, down to 4-thousand-471.9.

London newspapers carried the story of a meltdown on stock markets on Tuesday as they suffered their most drastic crisis since 1987's Black Monday.

The market braced itself for the worst as Wall Street reopened at 1430 G-M-T, following the seven per cent slide that triggered its early closing on Monday.

But a nervous City saw shares in leading British companies bounce back after sliding in advance of trading opening in New York.

The U-K's Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 index of British blue chips fell by more than nine per cent in the first half hour of trading on Tuesday morning.

At 1240 G-M-T the FTSE 100 had dropped by 6.69 per cent - down 324 points at 4-thousand-516 after falling more than nine per cent early in the session.

Analysts cited turmoil in Hong Kong as the main trigger, although they said a meltdown was waiting to happen, with stock markets in general being overvalued.

The chief executive of the London International Financial Futures Exchange explained what was happening.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
"There's a lot of volatility. There's a lot of price changes, which means a lot of volume. People want to hedge their positions. It's all to do with the atmosphere of uncertainty. If stock markets fall it creates an atmosphere of uncertainty. It also creates a bearish mood, a mood of pessimism. That's what is being reflected here. You see a mood of pessimism coming over bond markets, which means that the markets which relate to bond markets - the derivative markets of bond markets - are actually in a pessimistic mood, and they start falling too."
SUPER CAPTION: Daniel Hodson, Chief Executive, London International Financial Futures Exchange

At NatWest Stockbrokers in London workers braced themselves for the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.

The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 index of British blue chips slipped close to the day's lowest levels when 132 (b) billion dollars was wiped off shares in a 457 points fall in the minutes before Wall Street opened at 1430 G-M-T.

Within 10 minutes of U-S trading resuming the FTSE recovered and was showing a fall of 376.9 points, down to 4-thousand-471.9.

But the head of research at NatWest Stockbrokers said the bottom of the downturn may not yet have been reached.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
"When sentiment turns we do have a vicious downward spiral. What we're now waiting for is a sign that that downward spiral is petering out and the bottom has been reached, but at the moment there's not sign of it."
SUPER CAPTION: Jeremy Batstone, Head of Research, NatWest Stockbrokers

But while some City people chose to contemplate the ups and downs of the trading day and the risks involved, others were happy to skate on slighter thicker ice.


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