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European shares near to 2-year lows

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 01:58

Aug. 19 - European shares slid again on Friday, approaching their lowest level in two years over fears that major economies are heading for recession and leaders don't have an answer to the euro zone debt crisis. Joanna Partridge reports

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It had looked like some calm was returning to financial markets. But European stocks had their biggest one-day drop since March 2009 on Thursday. Mirroring falls in Asia, shares slid again by between two and three percent on Friday morning and approached two-year lows over worries major economies are heading for recession again, and fears that policymakers don't have any answers to the euro zone debt crisis. Marine Michel, a trader in Paris, expects investors to remain cautious. SOUNDBITE: Marine Michel, Trader at Montsegur Finance, saying (French): "You have to keep calm, as today there might be a chance to seize some of the many opportunities available during this phase of respite and investor panic." Banks have been among the biggest fallers and the European banking index has lost over 30% of its value this year. Investors are worried about how European lenders are dealing with short-term funding stress. Some banks are being forced to pay more for access to short-term U.S. dollar loans, as worries mount about the euro-zone debt crisis spreading to the financial sector. Howard Wheeldon from BGC Partners says investors feel leaders aren't acting decisively. SOUNDBITE: Howard Wheeldon, Senior Strategist at BGC Partners, saying (English): "Markets are taking the opposite view to everything the politicians say. It is the same in Europe. It is the same in countries that are not part of the eurozone, for instance the United Kingdom, it is in essence that trust has evaporated, trust in politicians has evaporated and if markets can't have trust in politicians what else are they doing to do? They are going to take flight." As investors take flight from equities, they're flocking to traditional safe haven investments like gold. It hit another record high above $1860 an ounce on Friday. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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European shares near to 2-year lows

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 01:58