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WORLD FINANCIAL MARKETS IN CRISIS

The Euro shot from 89 to 91 cents, oil rose three dollars a barrel, and European stocks were set back sharply. London's FTSE Index closed down 5.72%, the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 7.39% and Frankfurt's DAX fell 9.1%. These are astonishing drops for these exchanges, where a change of one or two percent marks a day of substantial change.

A Paris trader said, "People are selling massively." Across Europe, airline and insurance stocks led the decline. Meanwhile, prices of oil company shares shot up. Gold rose $20 per ounce on the day.

American financial markets were closed, and may remain closed for some days due to the destruction of substantial record keeping and computer infrastructure in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The US Federal Reserve has initiated emergency measures to make certain that financial clearings continue, or where that is impossible, that insititutions receive emergency funds to cover shortfalls caused by the tragedy.

Jeremy Batstone of NatWest stockbrokers said, "The implications are going to be very far-reaching economically and commercially for months, if not years."

Thanks to Bridge News.

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