Carlo Piovano
Associated Press
October 24, 2008

World stock markets fell sharply Friday on growing alarm that a sharp global recession will ravage corporate profits and push smaller developing economies to the brink of collapse.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Wall Street plummeted on the open, trading down 400 points or 4.6 percent, before recovering a little ground and trading down 375 at 8,315.

In the European afternoon, Germany’s benchmark DAX index was down a startling 8.3 percent at 4,144 while the French CAC40 fell 7.8 percent at 3051. Britain’s FTSE 100 was 7.3 percent lower at 3,788 after news that third quarter GDP fell 0.5 percent, putting the country on the brink of recession, which is technically defined as two quarters of negative growth. The previous quarter’s growth was 0.0 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 9.6 percent to 7,649.

Quarterly earnings have been poor so far, with profit warnings coming thick and fast across all industries. Shares in Europe’s automotive companies fell hard on worrying third quarter figures, with truck-maker Volvo AB down 17 percent and PSA Peugeot-Citroen falling 11 percent. Daimler AG and Fiat Spa also warned about profits.

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