Wall St alert

The business year in pictures
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The Independent Online
Everyone was a bear on 27 October, when the collapse of the Hong Kong stock market - on concern that the Hong Kong dollar would be depegged from the US dollar - led to a near meltdown on Wall Street. The record- breaking freefall in share prices not only in New York but round the world raised fears that the international financial system was coming undone.

The fears proved exaggerated in the short term. But global economic growth forecasts for next year are being pared down in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.

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