24 February 2009

Dow and FTSE Down on Forthcoming AIG Loss Announcement

It emerged that AIG, the world's insurance leader which was forced to be nationalised in September 2008, is due to announce their biggest quarterly loss in corporate history.

Last night the Dow Jones reached its lowest level since 1997 amid fears for the American financial sector. It closed at 7,114.78 - 251 points. Then Asian markets took on the trend - the Nikkei in Japan closed down 1.46% and the Hong Kong index was down 3.6%. Finally the London market opened with the FTSE 100 down 0.60% at 3827.72.

AIG is expected to announce their biggest quarterly loss in corporate history at $60bn. In September 2008, their near collapse nearly dragged down the entire world financial system - until the US government stepped in at the last moment and nationalised the firm. Now, they are close to bankruptcy, though seem reluctant to admit this. Emergency board member talks are to take place ahead of the figures being announced.

There is a general and growing lack of confidence amongst the various financial markets - stocks, currency exchange, investors - and many are wondering when the negative cycle will end. There seems to be some confusion as to what the US government plans to do next in order to save the financial system in America, which is not aiding the rumours and speculation trend.

A question being asked more frequently now is, what else are governments and authorities going to do besides throwing more and more money at the problem?

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