18 Nov 2008

Wall St falls

11:38 am on 18 November 2008

Stocks in the United States fell on Monday on news that Japan is now in recession and Citigroup is to cut 52,000 jobs.

The drop was the fifth in six sessions.

Markets were disappointed by a weekend meeting of leaders of major industrial economies in Washington, which concluded without concrete plans for combating the ailing world economy.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank showed private-sector economists believe the US economy fell into recession last spring and that the downturn would last for 14 months.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 223.73 points, or 2.63%, at 8,273.58.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 22.54 points, or 2.58%, to 850.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 34.80 points, or 2.29%, at 1,482.05.

Trading was low on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.31 billion shares changing hands - below last year's estimated daily average of roughly 1.9 billion.

About 1.86 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq - below last year's daily average of 2.17 billion.

European shares also declined further on Monday.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 2.6% lower at 837.41 points. The index is down more than 44% to date this year.

Banking shares and mining companies were down. Sentiment worsened after reports that Japan, the world's second-largest economy, is now in recession.

The euro zone is also in formal recession, with two consecutive quarters of contraction.

Across Europe: Germany's DAX lost 3.3% and France's CAC fell 3.4%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 fell 2.7%.