Markets rally on US mortgage bailout

Chris Tryhorn
London Guardian
Monday, Sept 8, 2008

The FTSE 100 roared back almost 200 points today as markets around the world were cheered by the US government's bailout of mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The bounce in the blue-chip index was widely predicted by market analysts after the two firms were taken into temporary public ownership, but this morning's gains surpassed general forecasts of a 170-point uplift. Shortly after London markets opened, the FTSE 100 was trading at 5435.4, up 194.7 points or 3.7 % on Friday night's close of 5240.7.

Last week the index of London's top 100 companies fell nearly 400 points as investors lost confidence in the UK's economic prospects.

The biggest gainers this morning were the banks: HBOS shares soared by 18%, Lloyds TSB rose 15% and RBS was up 14%.

The positive reaction in London was matched by a 2.8% lift in the Dax in Frankfurt while the CAC, the French bourse, jumped 4%.

The bounce recorded on the European exchanges followed earlier gains in Asian markets. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index was up more than 400 points, or 3.4%, in afternoon trading, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 3.9%. Markets in Seoul, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia also recorded gains.

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