Around the World's Markets

LONDON

SHARES FINISHED above their worst levels but the stock market remained worried about possible hedge fund problems following the near collapse of Long-Term Capital Management. There was talk of other funds in difficulties and the prospect of new banking problems.

Footsie, at one time down more than 100 points, ended 44.3 lower at 5,064.4 in busy trading. Supporting shares were also weak. Barclays, one of the LTCM rescuers, led the ragged banking retreat. The shares tumbled a further 62p to 961p.

Derek Pain, page 23

NEW YORK

WALL STREET tumbled, ending its worst quarter in eight years as investors faced a series of worries, from shrinking profits to fears about financial stability, after a Fed rate cut failed to soothe markets. The Dow Jones settled off 237.90 points, or nearly 3 per cent, at 7842.62.

The blue chip index fell 12 per cent in the third quarter that ended Wednesday, its worst performance since a 15 per cent slide in the same quarter of 1990. Government bonds roared higher as investors craved safety.

TOKYO

THE NIKKEI tumbled to its lowest since February 1986, pacing declines in Singapore and Taiwan on concern that bad debts at the region's banks will restrict lending even if global interest rates fall.

The Nikkei 225 index fell 415.04, or 3.0 per cent, to 13,406.39. Sumitomo Bank fell 10.6 per cent and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi 7.8 per cent. Adding to the woes was Moody's downgrade of Nomura Securities and anticipation that today's quarterly survey of business confidence will show a further fall.

Slump gathers pace, page 21

FRANKFURT

SHARES CLOSED sharply lower on speculation of the influence of the Greens in the new government and on Wall Street's negative reaction to the smaller than expected rate cut in the US. The Xetra DAX closed 169.42 lower at 4,430.91, while the DAX closed down 103.76 at 4,474.51.

The 0.25 per cent US rate cut caused "rush sellers to push us lower," said one dealer. The possibility of the Greens exerting an influence in the new SPD-led parliament was also hitting certain sectors.

ZURICH

SHARES CLOSED off at a record low for the year on disappointment at Tuesday's 0.25 per cent US interest rate cut and the continued flight out of banking shares in the wake of the Long-Term Capital Management Hedge Fund fiasco. The Swiss Market Index closed 259.4 points lower at 5,760.4.

UBS, which has slumped by around one-third in price since it warned of a LTCM-induced $1bn third-quarter loss last Thursday, fell a further SFr45 to SFr270, while Credit Suisse Group fell SFr14.75 to SFr153.

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