Governments urge calm in face of market turmoil

PARIS, Jan 22, 2008 (AFP) – Leaders in Asia and Europe appealed for calm Tuesday and called for international cooperation in the face of a galloping global meltdown on world stock markets sparked by fears of a US recession. Asian markets experienced a day of heavy losses, with Hong Kong share prices suffering their biggest ever one-day slide, closing down 8.7 percent.

Markets in Europe also suffered sharp sell-offs in early deals but were later able to slow the slide ahead of the opening of trade on Wall Street.

“We must be very calm in face of the fallout from a financial crisis in the United States … and ensure more transparency in the international financial system,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy insisted.

In Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, seeking to shore up sentiment, declared there was no danger of a recession in Europe.

“There is no reason to believe there will be a recession in Europe or in Germany,” Merkel told NDR-Info radio.

The chancellor said the government of Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, was doing everything in its power to try to calm the markets.

“Europe is an anchor of stability in the world economy,” Merkel said.

German Economy Minister Michael Glos made a