Global Stocks Decline

Stocks fell around the world, the euro sank to a 20-month low against the dollar and oil retreated as the deepening economic slump sapped corporate profit.

The MSCI World Index lost 2.8 percent to 944.5 at 12:41 p.m. in London. The index has lost 40 percent this year and oil has tumbled more than 50 percent from its peak in July as concern deepened government bailouts to save the global banking system won't avert a recession.

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index declined 3.9 percent. Tenaris SA and Repsol YPF SA declined as Argentina's planned seizure of pension funds stoked concern the nation is headed for its second default in a decade

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 5.3 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. lost 8.8 percent after a newspaper said earnings probably dropped by half.

U.K. stocks dropped for a second day after the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said the country faces a recession and oil and metals prices fell. The FTSE 100 Index slipped 135.07, or 3.2 percent at 1:36 p.m. in London.

German stocks declined for a second day as investor concern deepened that a global economic slowdown may curb corporate earnings. The benchmark DAX Index declined 157.35 or 3.29 percent as of 2:36 p.m. in Frankfurt.

Japan stocks plunged, driving the Topix index down more than 7 percent for the fourth time in two weeks, on concern the slowing global economy will weigh on profits and as the tumbling euro cut the value of European sales. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 631.56, or 6.8 percent, to close at 8,674.69 in Tokyo, its first retreat since Oct. 16.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 146.40 points, or 3.4 percent, to 4,156.10 at the close in Sydney, after a two-day, 8.4 percent advance.

Indian stocks fell, with the benchmark index declining for the first day in three, as weak corporate earnings heightened concern the economy will slow. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 513.49, or 4.8 percent, to 10,169.90.

China's benchmark stock index declined, led by smelters and utilities, as corporate earnings fell amid a slowing economy. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated stocks traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, declined 48.08, or 2.6 percent, to 1,833.32 at the close, extending this year's drop to 66 percent.

Russian stocks declined, led by oil producers OAO Lukoil and OAO Rosneft, after crude prices fell below $70 a barrel. The Micex Index of 30 stocks dropped 37.6, or 5.76 percent, heading for the first decline in three days.,
10/22/2008 5:59:43 AM