Market hangover after Freddie/Fannie bailout

Concern over the banking sector's woes has sent shares tumbling down again just days after the bailout of the US mortgage giants. The spotlight is on beleaguered Lehman Brothers, due to announce its third-quarter results on Wednesday.


Read Business Editor Douglas Herbert's commentary ahead of Lehman Brothers' quarterly results: 'Just a Lehman's hunch'


European stock markets mainly fell at the start of trading on Wednesday as oil prices rebounded back above 100 dollars after OPEC decided to cut its crude production.

Investors meanwhile waited for news on the fate of troubled US bank Lehman Brothers. Caution grew as Lehman announced overnight that it would move forward its third quarter earnings to Wednesday along with "key strategic initiatives for the firm," dealers said.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares dropped 0.36 percent to 5,396.30 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.13 percent to 6,225.30 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 edged up 0.08 percent to 4,297.09.

Japanese shares closed down 0.44 percent on Wednesday, while US stocks swung lower Tuesday as some of the euphoria faded from the weekend takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, traders said.

Reports that Lehman Brothers had failed to secure a deal for a major investment or buyout also pressured the financial sector in New York.

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