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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire overnight wrap

Friday 10th October 2008

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 9000 for the first time since 2003, led by General Motors, Exxon Mobile, Chevron and Coca-Cola, amid concern the credit crisis will widen its grip on the world's biggest economy.

The Dow fell 609.06, or 6.6% to 8849.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 7.5% to 911.01 and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 5.6% to 1641.92.

The S&P 500 and the Dow are heading for their worst annual decline since 1937, according to a Bloomberg estimate. General Motors slid 23% to US$5.34, Alcoa fell 10% to US$13.20 and Exxon declined 9.7% to US$69.50. American Express fell 8.4% to US$24.85 and Chevron declined 8% to US$67.25.

Financials fell after a three-week ban on short selling ended, with Bank of America declining 9% to US$20.06 and Citigroup sliding 7.2% to US$13.37.

The drop in stocks didn't lift Treasuries, however, as sales of US$50 billion of government debt eased supply. The yield on two-year Treasuries rose 15 basis points to 1.71% while the 10-year yield climbed 16 basis points to 3.81%.

In a sign that credit markets remain frozen, the London interbank offered rate for three-month loans rose to 4.75%, the highest this year.

Investors pulled a record US$72 billion from U.S.-managed stock and bond mutual funds last month, Bloomberg reported, citing TrimTabs Investment Research. They took US$43.5 billion from stock funds and US$28.8 billion, the research firm estimated.

U.S. President George Bush invited G-7 finance ministers and officials from the IMF and World Bank to a White House meeting this weekend. At the same time, the Treasury is considering a plan to have the government invest directly in banks via an equity stake to shore up their capital.

In Europe, Iceland's government took control of Kaupthing Bank, the nation's biggest bank, guaranteeing its domestic deposits. The move completes its takeover of the nation's financial system.

European stocks fell, with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index falling 2% to a five year low of 221.78. The DAX 30 fell 2.5% to 4887 and the FTSE 100 declined 1.2% to 4313.8.

Crude oil fell to an 11-month low amid concern a global economy on the brink of recession will have less need for fuel. Crude oil for November delivery fell 2.7% to US$86.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price has dropped from a record US$147.27 a barrel in July.

Gold fell, tracking a slide in global commodity prices. Gold futures for December delivery fell 2.2% to US$886.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The yen strengthened back below 100 per dollar, trading at 99.59 per dollar, having reached a seven-month high 98.61.


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