Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 

World stocks mostly lower after Toyota warning

Send a link to a friend

[December 22, 2008]  LONDON (AP) -- World stock markets mostly fell Monday in light pre-Christmas trade after Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. issued its second profit warning in less than two months amid plunging car sales around the globe.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 53.10 points, or 1.2 percent, or 4,233.83, while Germany's DAX was 86.57 points, or 1.8 percent, lower at 4,610.13. The CAC-40 in France fell 56.54 points, or 1.8 percent, to 3,169.36.

The losses in Europe were stoked by the warning from Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, that it will likely post an operating loss of 150 billion yen ($1.66 billion) in the year to end-March, the first such loss since Toyota began reporting such numbers in 1941.

"The markets are trying to digest the comments from Toyota. It wasn't the best of starts to the week for markets, I have to say," said Keith Bowman, equities analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers in London.

In the markets, Toyota is perceived as one of the world's best manufacturers -- and if it is experiencing times as bad as it says, then others will likely fare even worse, the reasoning goes.

Industrial orders data for the euro-zone earlier confirmed that manufacturing activity fell sharply in October and added to the evidence that the recession in the 15-nation single currency zone is deepening.

Eurostat revealed that industrial orders plunged by a monthly 4.7 percent in October for a 15.1 percent year-on-year decline. Most countries posted declines including industrial heavyweights Germany and France.

Earlier, Asian markets were mixed as Friday's announcement from the outgoing Bush administration to extend General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC $17.4 billion in loans brought a measure of relief to some investors.


But early gains in Asia soon faded amid worries about the U.S. and global outlook, as well as shrinking demand for Asian-made products like cars and electronics that keep the region's economies growing, analysts said. In Japan, new figures showed a record 26.7 percent plunge in exports last month compared to a year ago.

"The big question about what's going to happen with the big U.S. automakers has been settled for now," said D. Gorton, research analyst at Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong. "But investors are still wondering what's going to happen with the U.S. and ... when the U.S. economy is going to recover."

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 3.3 percent to 14,874.61, while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 percent. Singapore, Australia and mainland China benchmarks were each down over 1. 5 percent.

[to top of second column]


Tokyo bucked the downward trend, with its Nikkei 225 stock average rising 135.26 points, or 1.6 percent, to 8,723.78 despite the latest bad news about the country's exports.

Japanese investors seemed focused instead on the U.S. auto industry bailout, helping buoy Honda 5.4 percent and Nissan 2.7 percent, and the country's recent efforts -- including an interest rate cut Friday -- to counter the recession.

Last week in New York, Wall Street finished a choppy session mixed. The Dow fell 25.88, or 0.30 percent, to 8,579.11 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.60, or 0.29 percent, to 887.88.

U.S. futures were down, suggesting Wall Street would open lower. Dow futures were down 26 points while S&P futures were 3.7 points lower.

Oil prices were steady with the January contract up only 12 cents at $42.48 in European trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currencies, the dollar strengthened 0.4 percent to 89.69 yen while the euro rose 1.4 percent to $1.4110.

[Associated Press; By PAN PYLAS]

AP Business Writers Jerermiah Marquez in Hong Kong and Tomoko A. Hosaka in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor