Crisis Briefing - 15-Oct-08

Euphoria short lived as US shares fall, oil with it

US shares (Dow Jones industrial average) gave up 0.8% of their massive start of the week gains overnight, on concerns about the health of the wider economy. Consumer sector stocks, like Pepsico (which is slashing over 3,000 jobs), were sold off and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 65 points, or 3.5%, to 1,779. Oil prices fell back below USD80 per barrel (light sweet crude for Nov-08 delivery closed down USD2.56 dollars at USD78.63 per barrel), which broadly helped airline shares in the US. But Qantas and Virgin Blue shares are lower in morning trade today (although Air New Zealand is steady), suggesting investors are switching their concerns from fuel to the outlook for demand.

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