23 Jan 2010

Obama bank plan pushes down share prices

2:17 pm on 23 January 2010

Stockmarkets around the world have declined following the United States president's proposed sweeping new rules to curb the activities of big US banks.

Banking shares dropped following President Barack Obama's far-reaching plans to limit the financial institutions' size and risk-taking.

His move raises questions for banks outside the United States on how their American operations will be affected, the BBC reports.

In Britain, the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says the opposition Conservatives will, if elected, follow Barack Obama's lead over banks' activities.

Uncertainty over the details and the prospect of more regulation hit bank share prices in Europe.

European shares experienced their biggest weekly decline in nearly three months, Reuters reports.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares closed down 1.1% at 1,024.95 points.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed at 5,302.99 points, down 32.11 or 0.6%. Over the week, it fell 152.38 points.

Markets in Asia also declined. Japanese stocks closed down 2.56%. The Nikkei-225 index fell 277.86 points to 10,590.55.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index lost 136.49 points (0.65%) to close at 20,726.18.