BBC: Market Turmoil After US Attacks
European stock markets have plummeted while trading on Wall Street has been suspended following apparently co-ordinated attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, according to the BBC.
The price of gold and oil rose sharply. One ounce of gold was trading at $285.15, a gain of nearly $14. The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil shot up by more than $3, briefly hitting a peak of $31.05 a barrel before easing slightly, said the report.
The New York Stock Exchange and the Nymex commodities exchange were evacuated and trading was suspended "indefinitely," after two planes crashed into the twin towers of the nearby World Trade Centre, causing both towers to collapse.
The world's largest electronic stock market, the Nasdaq, suspended all its trading for the day, as did the American Stock Exchange. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced later in the day that it would close down all US markets for the day.
London's stock exchange was evacuated as well, although screen trading did continue.
MARKETS IN FREE FALL
European markets, meanwhile, went into free fall as the vastness of the attack on US interests became apparent, said the BBC.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was swinging wildly, losing more than 266 points before recovering to 4,817 - down 216 points on the day.
Frankfurt's Dax was down 358 points to 4,311, while the Cac 40 in Paris fell 246 points to 4,317.
Wall Street's futures markets, meanwhile, were in freefall as well, with the trade in Dow Jones futures swinging between losses of 145 and 330 points.
One of Chicago's large futures exchanges, the Chicago Board of Trade, did suspended trading, though.
Before the plane crashes, European equity markets were recovering from Monday's sharp falls.
The rally had been seen as unsurprising after London's stock market had fallen to levels not seen since 1998, and France and Germany had reached two-year lows as well.
But few dealers were prepared to bet on the rally lasting long, with most agreeing that the bounce was largely based on hedge funds covering short positions and investors hunting for short-term bargains in the ravaged tech sector.
Earlier, Tokyo's main stock index had staged a cautious recovery after concerns about a weak US economy sent shares tumbling to a 17-year low the day before.
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)