European Stocks Dip Over French Bank Concerns
A rollercoaster week for the global stock market showed no signs of stabilizing on Thursday, as European stocks showed a downward trend on concerns over French banks and continued sovereign debt crises on the continent.
The bad news from Europe preceded Wall Street’s open in the United States. The Dow plummeted more than 600 points Monday, rebounded Tuesday after the Federal Reserve announced that low interest rates would be frozen, and then fell once again — by 520 points — on Wednesday.
Investors reflected concern over the health of France’s banks, specifically Societe Generale, compounding fears over the economic health of other large economies, such as Spain’s and Italy’s. The S&P’s decision to downgrade the United States from its AAA rating was followed by rumors that France, and possibly Germany, were in danger of a downgrade as well.
On Thursday morning, U.S. stock futures were down, spurring concern that the S&P 500 could be heading to an 11-month low.
Tokyo’s Nikkei finished the day down 0.6 percent, an improvement from a 2.2. percent drop earlier in the day. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 1 percent.
Cameron: Early Police Tacticts ‘Weren’t Working’ on Rioters
British Prime Minister David Cameron said in Parliament that London’s police were slow to respond to the spreading riots that have gripped London and other cities since last weekend.
“Initially the police treated the situation too much as a public order issue — rather than essentially one of crime,” Cameron said. The prime minister had returned from his vacation early and called an emergency session of Parliament to address the crisis, which grew out of peaceful protests over the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man by police.
More than 1,300 people have been arrested since Saturday, and in the course of the looting three men in Birmingham were run over by a car and killed trying to protect a business. On Thursday, the father of one of the men appealed to rioters to “calm down and go home.”
Photo by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images.
Bomb Kills 2 People in Christian Suburb of Beirut
Police in Lebanon said two people died and a third was wounded when a bomb exploded in a mostly Christian suburb of Beirut. It was unclear what caused the explosion or who was targeted. Four cars in the vicinity were damaged in the blast.
The explosion comes one month after a roadside bomb hit a U.N. convoy of French peacekeepers, wounding five. In 2008, a leading terrorism investigator was killed in a roadside bomb.
In Afghanistan, Roadside Bomb Kills 5 NATO Troops
A roadside bomb killed at least five NATO troops in Afghanistan on Thursday. So far, 50 coalition troops have been killed in August. The roadside bomb attack comes days after a U.S. Chinook helicopter was shot down by the Taliban, killing 30 U.S. troops and seven Afghan soldiers.
In a separate attack, one NATO soldiers was killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday.