More heavy financial losses in Europe and Asia; US dollar rises; OPEC to cut oil production; Asia-Europe summit opens aiming for cooperation; fears of a coup in Bangkok; and more
Top of the Agenda: Again, Major Stock Losses
Markets in Europe and Asia suffered heavy losses today on broadening fears that a global recession is afoot. The leading indices in Japan and South Korea each fell nearly 10 percent (TheStreet), and Hong Kong's main index lost over 8 percent. European shares plunged in turn (BBC). In early trading, Britain's FTSE index showed losses over 8 percent, and French and German indexes each fell over 10 percent. In the United States, trading of Dow Jones Industrial Average futures was halted (WSJ) after they fell 550 points.
Meanwhile, the dollar continued its rapid recent rise (Guardian) against the euro and British pound, though it fell against the Japanese yen. The Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, troubled by the recent slide in oil prices to just over $60 per barrel, announced they would cut oil production in an effort to boost prices (NYT).
It remained unclear what regulators could do, if anything, to halt the precipitous recent market slide. The European Central Bank signaled it may move to make further cuts in its interest rate (FT). The U.S. Federal Reserve's committee that sets rates meets later this month, and it could also make rate cuts. European and East Asian policymakers debated solutions today at summit meetings in Beijing (Bloomberg). European leaders urged China to get more involved using its massive currency reserves to combat the global crisis.
Pacific Rim: Asia-Europe Summit
Xinhua reports from the opening of the Asia-Europe summit, which runs through tomorrow and will focus on forging a cooperative response to the financial crisis. Some analysts have posited that French President Nicolas Sarkozy will seek to use the current summit to seek support for international regulatory plans to be unveiled at the so-called "Bretton Woods II" summit, scheduled for mid-November.
Thailand: The Bangkok Post reports fears of a coup against the country's new prime minister are rising, just weeks after major protests challenged the leader.
North Korea-South Korea: Yonhap reports Pyongyang has proposed talks with Seoul on improving military hotlines between the countries.