28 Oct 2008

Market volatility continues

6:09 am on 28 October 2008

Global markets are still volatile, with sharp falls in Asian and Europe on Monday, followed by modest gains on Wall Street.

On Wall Street, the main Dow Jones index was up 0.6% in morning trading, lifted by a surprise rise in new home sales in September.

The advance eased losses on European indexes which fell to five-year lows earlier in the day.

Prior to that, the Nikkei index in Japan ended at a 26-year low.

However, the Dow Jones was up 49 points to 8,428.

Its rise saw the FTSE 100 recover to rise 11 points or 0.3% in afternoon trading in London.

In France, the CaC index was down 2%, while in Germany the Dax shed 0.9%.

The pound also continued its recent falls. The euro was also lower.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index ended down 6.4% at its lowest level since 1982.

Yen threat seen

On the currency markets, the yen stayed near a 13-year high against the US dollar, despite threats of intervention by the the Group of Seven industrialised nations.

The group issued a statement on Monday warning that the strength of the yen was a threat to economic stability.

While the yen briefly weakened, it soon climbed back towards Friday's 13-year high against the dollar.

The yen has been strengthening as a result of the end of the carry trade, in which traders borrowed the Japanese currency and used it to buy currencies with higher interest rates.

In other currency news, the Reserve Bank of Australia intervened on Monday for a second time in three days to support the Australian currency, which was trading at a five-year low against the US dollar.