US stocks have tumbled on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq markets after both reopened today following terrorist attacks on New York and Washington last week.
After two and a half hours, heavy trading had seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-laden Nasdaq indices steady at around five per cent down, after initially plunging more than six per cent.
Although not the meltdown some had feared, shares have still dropped sharply despite efforts made by US authorities and leading firms to shore up the markets.
Declining shares outnumbered rising stocks by 5/6 to 1 on both markets. Some 832 million shares had changed hands on the NYSE by 1600 BST, while 844 million were traded on Nasdaq.
The worst of the losses came in the aircraft sector, which has inevitably been hit hard. Investors in the two airlines whose aircraft were hijacked, United and American, saw the value of their stock plummet by over 40 per cent.
The falls occured despite Securities and Exchange Commission efforts to buoy up the market, interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve and a concerted effort by corporate leaders such as Intel, General Electric, Cisco and others to buy back shares.
However, the Federal Reserve said that, while the risks that the economy will slow further remain in the near-term, the outlook is bright.
It said in a statement: "Even before the tragic events of last week, employment, production and business spending remained weak, and last week's events have the potential to damp spending further.
"Nonetheless, the long-term prospects for productivity growth and the economy remain favourable and should become evident once the unusual forces restraining demand abate."
In the UK, the FTSE 100 had risen by nearly two per cent by 1600 BST.
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