Stock Prices Plunge and World Markets Down

NEW YORK(Rushprnews/VOA)10/24/08-Concern about a possible global recession has frightened investors and caused stock prices to fall dramatically around the world.U.S. stocks fell sharply in Friday’s early trading, with the key Dow index losing hundreds of points in the first few minutes.

Asian investors reacted to disappointing earnings reports from major companies with a massive sell-off. Key indexes in Japan and Hong Kong lost more than 8 percent.

European markets are also down sharply, losing eight percent or more in midday trading after a report that the British economy is on the brink of recession. The report said the economy shrank by half-a-percent in the third quarter. It is the first contraction of the British economy in 16 years.

And Russia’s battered stock markets fell more than 10 percent, prompting officials to suspend trading on the MICEX.

In currency trading, the dollar has fallen to its lowest level against the yen in 13 years.

President Bush has invited leaders of wealthy nations and the heads of major developing economies to a summit on November 15 that will focus on the global financial crisis.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.