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World financial crisis

Stocks dive, jobs cut

Article published on the 2008-11-20 Latest update 2008-11-20 12:18 TU

A Tokyo brokerage on Thursday(Photo: Reuters)

A Tokyo brokerage on Thursday
(Photo: Reuters)

Stock markets around the world took a tumble on Thursday, with Japan the worst hit losing nearly seven per cent. Paris's Cac-40 fell nearly three per cent in the morning, with other European markets falling at about the same rate. French carmaker Peugeot and Japan's Isuzu both announced job cuts.

France's PSA Peugoet-Citroën has announced that it will slash 3,500 jobs, while Japan's Isuzu says 1,400 jobs will go. British plane engine maker Rolls Royce says that it will cut between 1,500 and 2,000 in 2009, about five per cent of its workforce worldwide, and defence manufacturer BAe is declaring 200 jobs immediately.

General Motors says that it will close its Rayong factory in Thailand, for two months and shed 258 jobs, while Toyota aims to shed 340 jobs there.

The Tokyo stock exchange closed down 6.89 per cent Thursday, Hong Kong was down four per cent, Seoul 6.7 per cent and Sydney 4.2 per cent.

Official data in Japan showed the country's exports suffering their biggest drop in almost seven years, 7.7 per cent over a year, with Asian demand slacking off. The drop suggests that Japan's recession-hit economy may suffer even more in the fourth quarter than previously expected.

Wall Street fell to five-and-a-half-year lows on Wednesday and the Federal Reserve said there is a risk of a long recession.

In Europe, four Nordic countries - Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden - have put together a loan of two billion euros for Iceland. On Wednesday the International Monetary Fund approved 1.7 billion euros of credit for the crisis-hit country.