With a 10% fall on the NASDAQ in the first two days of trading this week it may well be reasonable now to call the latest round of market mayhem in New York a stock market crash.
Overnight the technology heavy Nasdaq index fell another 6% back to levels last seen in October 1998, and before the mini crash of that month, in January 1998.
Significantly the blood-letting on Wall St last night was not confined to technology stocks, with the Dow Jones and S&P500 indexes also shedding around 3% of their value. In other words the stock sell off ranged across the board, all boards in fact.
Also significant in the latest round of trading were near record levels of trading volume. Market watchers have been looking for high volume trading for some time as a sign that the market could finally be nearing bottom.
With 2.5 billion stocks traded yesterday on the Nasdaq, volume levels were 25% above the already high levels of trading that occurred last Wednesday and Thursday when the market was also falling fast, albeit not as fast as they have so far this week.
European stock markets also performed badly overnight, Germany’s DAX closed down a further 3.6%, France’s CAC fell 4%, Switzerland’s market closed down 2.34% and the UK’s FTSE fell 2.77%.
To put this in context Germany’s stock market has fallen more than 33% from its March 2000 highs back to levels last seen in late 1999. Like New York’s markets the UK stock market is now back at levels last seen in October 1998 at the heights of the Asian Economic Crisis.
In early trading this morning the NZSE40 index appears to be suffering from the fallout down 27 points (1.3%) on 2042 points.
Meanwhile on the currency markets the volatility experienced earlier in the week appears to have subsided, possibly in recognition of the fact that the US Dollar may no longer be such an obvious destination for money seeking safety. The Yen has in fact climbed around one Yen against the US Dollar with the cross rate presently trading at 125.7.
A slightly stronger Yen has led to a slightly stronger Kiwi albeit not a stronger Australian Dollar at this stage. At 10.30am NZT this morning the Kiwi was buying 40.5 US cents, up 70 points on yesterday’s near record lows. (For a live quote on the NZ Dollar cross rate see…http://quote.yahoo.com/m5?s=NZD&t=USD&a=1&c=1)
INTERNATIONAL MARKET SUMMARY AND LINKS
The blue chip Dow Jones index
closed this morning on 9485.71 points down 292.22 or 3% for
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=^DJI&d=5d)
technology heavy Nasdaq index closed on 1673.00points down
109.97 or 6.2%.
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=^IXIC&d=5d)
broader S&P 500 index closed on 1106.46 points down 1106.46
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=^SPC&d=5d)
To view live
updates of the state of Asian share markets as they open
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/m2)