Monday, January 21, 2008

Financial blood flows on Bay Street and around the world

The tidal wave of red ink began in Asia, moved through Europe during the early morning hours and grabbed a beach head in Canada by 9:30 am Toronto time.
With Wall Street closed because of the commemoration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Day holiday, it was left to the rest of the world’s stock markets to face a massive day of negativity on their own.

Canada suffered its worst loss on the TSE since the days of the high tech meltdown of seven years ago, which turned such high flying companies as Nortel into tumbling scraps of paper. Monday saw the TSE surrendering some 605 points on the day, a continuation of a slide that began in earnest last week.

Spurred on by fears of an American recession and the ever expanding sub prime mortgage funding crisis that seems to have no end, investors were scrambling for the doors around the world on Monday.

What remains to be seen is whether the anticipated other shoe drops on Tuesday morning, when the US stock markets reopen for business after their three day break. Already worrisome signs won’t be tempered by the world wide reaction of Monday, with some observers warning that Tuesday may be a very rough day on the markets again, as New York plays catch up and the rest of the world continues on with its sell off.

Monday’s slide began with the Chinese stock market the Hang Seng losing 5.4% of its value or 1,298 points.

From there the rout moved on to Europe with all the major stock indexes dropping as the selling waves continued, Britain's beacon of financial status the FTSE-100 slumped 5.5 percent to 5,578.20, In France the CAC-40 Index tumbled 6.8 percent to 4,744.15, while Germany's high profile market the DAX 30 plunged 7.2 percent to 6,790.19.

The downward trends have continued into Tuesday trading in the Far East, the Indian stock market halted trading in the first hour as their index tumbled 11.5 per cent in the correction, while both the Chinese and Japanese Stock markets have again suffered losses as well, the Nikkei dropping close to five percent and the Hang Seng shedding another 8 per cent.

The trend is anticipated to continue along the European markets when they open, leading to the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, where already the futures markets are projecting sharp losses to come in the early hours of trading Tuesday.

Despite recent moves by the Bush administration to try and stimulate the American economy with a 145 billion dollar package, the majority of investors in the days following last Thursday's announcement seem to be voting with their feet and their wallets.

Some observers have looked at the current world financials and see some eerie parallels to the days preceding the Crash of 87, words that won’t exactly be a calming influence for Tuesday morning.

One quote out of the Chinese markets makes for interesting reading, "We have yet to see the panic selling," said Andrew Clarke, a trader with S.G. Securities in Hong Kong. "Yesterday's sell-off all seemed kind of cool, calm and collected, and that's kind of worrying."

Another quote from the Chinese also seems rather appropriate at the moment some say it's a curse, others insist it's a blessing, tomorrow will provide the definition all by itself!
“May you live in interesting times”.

Tuesday for financial watchers is going to be a very interesting time indeed.
Globe and Mail--Canadian Stocks ravaged
Vancouver Province--TSX takes a nosedive

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