Stocks in Europe, Asia Decline

Stocks fell in Europe and Asia, led by chemical companies and financial firms, on concern the economic slowdown will cut profits. U.S. futures dropped as a report showed consumer prices slid the most on record, heightening the risk of deflation.

BASF SE, the world's largest chemical company, tumbled 18 percent after abandoning its target to match last year's profit. UBS AG slumped 3.8 percent as Morgan Stanley slashed its estimate for the Swiss bank's earnings by 23 percent, citing the possibility of more writedowns. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan's third-largest bank, tumbled 7.9 percent on plans to raise capital.

The MSCI World Index lost 0.8 percent to 855.05 at 1:31 p.m. in London, extending this year's drop to 46 percent. More than $31 trillion has been erased from the value of global equities as the financial-market turmoil pushes countries from Europe and the U.K. to the U.S. and Japan into recession.

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell 2.2 percent. Rio Tinto Group, the world's third-biggest mining company, followed metal prices lower, slipping 3.8 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.9 percent, while Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures lost 1.8 percent.

Japan stocks declined, led by financial companies, on concern the nation's drop into recession will lead to an increase in bad-loan costs. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 55.19, or 0.7 percent, to 8,273.22.

Indian stocks reversed early gains to close lower for the sixth straight day after Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said companies should cut prices to boost demand, raising concern that earnings would drop. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 163.42, or 1.8 percent, to 8,773.78, the lowest level since Oct. 27.,
11/19/2008 6:00:47 AM