Credit Worries Hit Stocks and Lift Yen

World stock markets fell on Monday, with European shares slipping into losing territory for the year in another tremor over the credit crunch, while Japan's yen gained as investors cut back on their riskier holdings.

Oil was up but below $95 a barrel following a weekend OPEC meeting that was notable for a demand by anti-U.S. hardliners Iran and Venezuela for action to offset the falling value of their dollar-denominated revenues.

Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, added Citigroup to its "sell" list, citing more credit losses at the No. 1 U.S. bank.

"A lot of investors had hoped there was a bottom in terms of the writedowns, but this quarter hasn't shown there is a bottom," said Rick Meckler of LibertyView Capital Management.

MSCI's main world index was down 0.4 percent and its emerging market counterpart was off 0.7 percent.

Emerging market shares have lost 6.8 percent this month and fund tracker EPFR Global said that investors redeemed money from emerging market equity funds for the first time in 11 weeks in the week ended November 14.

Until recently emerging market equities have tended to be less affected by the credit crunch and its related market corrections than other assets. They are up 35 percent this year.

Shares in Europe sank below their start-of-the-year level. The FTSEurofirst index of top European shares was down 0.8 percent.

Earlier in Japan Tokyo's Nikkei average ended down 0.74 percent at 15,042.56. The broader TOPIX index lost 1.02 percent to 1,456.61.

Credit Worries Hit Stocks and Lift Yen, Reuters
11/19/2007 7:03:11 AM