Stocks Drop From Tokyo to London


Stocks tumbled around the world, sending the MSCI World Index to its biggest weekly drop since November, Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index to a five-year low, and Japan’s Topix Index to the worst level since 1984.

Anglo American Plc decreased 16 percent as the mining company suspended its dividend and share buybacks. Bridgestone Corp., the world’s largest tiremaker, fell 7.4 percent after saying profit will slide 71 percent this year. Lowe’s Cos., the second-biggest home-improvement retailer, declined 4 percent on a profit forecast that trailed analysts’ estimates.

The MSCI World Index sank for a ninth straight day, retreating 1.3 percent to 780.23 at 12:38 p.m. in London. The index of 23 developed countries has lost 6.8 percent this week.

The MSCI World has tumbled 51 percent since the start of last year as credit-related losses at financial firms worldwide climbed to $1.1 trillion and Europe, the U.S. and Japan fell into the first simultaneous recessions since World War II.

The gauge of developed countries extended its retreat this month as companies from Electricite de France SA to Diageo Plc posted disappointing results and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to convince investors that his plan to rescue U.S. banks will work.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 fell as much as 3.2 percent to 177.61, a level not seen since April 2003, as UBS AG tumbled. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 2.2 percent, led by Qantas Airways Ltd. after Moody’s Investors Service cut its debt rating.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/20/2009 5:34:31 AM