Sun, Aug 05, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Main European markets dive on US housing slump

AFP , LONDON

Europe's main stock markets dived on Friday after disappointing US economic data crowned a volatile week that was rocked by investor concerns over the global impact of the slumping US housing sector.

World equity markets have been in turmoil over fears about a subprime credit crisis spreading to the global economy.

Frankfurt, London and Paris had clawed back ground on Thursday, after diving by more than 1.5 percent on Wednesday owing to jitters about US credit markets.

But stocks slumped again on Friday after the US government revealed that job growth had slowed by more than expected, and as a large mortgage lender announced it was not accepting new business.

In London the FTSE 100 index lost 1.21 percent to close at 6,244.30 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 shed 1.48 percent to 5,597.89, while in Frankfurt the DAX lost 1.30 percent to finish at 7,435.67 points.

The DJ Euro STOXX 50 index of top eurozone shares shed 1.38 percent to 4,229.53 points.

In Frankfurt, shares in Germany's Hypo Real Estate led the market downward, nosediving 6.33 percent to 41.16 euros, as rumors circulated that the German real estate group's exposure to the mounting US subprime crisis was higher than previously assumed.

The European energy sector was meanwhile lower as crude prices continued to fall from their recent record high point in New York.

In London, Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell saw its "A" shares lose 1.60 percent to ?18.50, and peer BP tumbled 1.51 percent to ?5.54.

Shares in oil and gas giant Total sank 2.41 percent to 54.71 euros in Paris.

Elsewhere in Europe, in Amsterdam the AEX index lost 1.18 percent to 521.52 while Milan's SP/MIB lost 0.84 percent to 39,375, and in Madrid the IBEX-35 lost 0.98 percent to 14,534.3.

In Brussels the BEL-20 closed 1.04 percent lower at 4,281.14 points, while the Swiss SMI lost 1.19 percent at 8,671.43 points.

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