European markets slipped around 10 percent minutes after opening on Friday, then slightly recovered. Shares plunged again in Asia, with Thailand suspending trading on its stock exchange for one hour after the index fell by 10 percent.
European traders awoke on Friday to a new day of tears and fears as markets across Europe opened with losses of more than 10 percent on average.
In London, the FTSE 100 index of top shares began with a slight dip of 0.06 percent just seconds after opening, then tumbled by 10.20 percent minutes later.
France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Spain's Ibex were all trading down about 8 percent, having earlier fallen as much as 10 percent.
At 07h13 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 8 percent at 847.8 points, after hitting its lowest level since July 2003. The index has fallen more than 22 percent so far this week, on track for its worst week on record.
Battered banks led the decline, with Barclays off 15.6 percent, Santander down 9.8 percent and HSBC down 4.3 percent. Oil shares also tumbled, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell down 8 and 5.9 percent respectively, as crude fell 4.6 percent.
European markets track plunges in Asian and U.S. equities, as investors feared world governments' attempts to unlock credit markets would not be enough to ward off a global recession.
"The stark reality is that markets have judged the co-ordinated interest rate cut not to have been enough, and we are now left wondering how best to get ourselves out of this downward spiral," said Chris Hossain, senior sales manager, ODL Securities. "One gets the feeling that this market is now strictly confined to the brave."
Date created : 2008-10-10