Finance crisis inflicts more pain; IMF to get more business

WASHINGTON, October 24, 2008 (AFP) – The global financial crisis inflicted more pain Friday on a wide range of corporate sectors, prompting heavy losses in stock markets, while the IMF readied a rescue of some 200 billion dollars for debt-laden countries.

Amid grim financial news from around the world, stocks saw another tumultuous day, starting with a horrific 9.6 percent slump in Tokyo shares that spilled over to Europe, where London’s FTSE plunged 5.0 percent.

“The best word to describe what’s going on right now is panic,” said Credit Suisse strategist Satoru Ogasawara.

Wall Street followed other exchanges downwards as a wave of panic selling and a meltdown in share prices swept around the world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 312.30 points (3.59 percent) to close at 8,378.95, in a volatile session that saw the blue-chip index down as much as 500 points.

The market action capped a week with a drop of more than five percent for the US blue-chip index.

Iceland’s government said it had asked for two billion dollars (1.58 billion euros) of support from the International Monetary Fund, the first Western country to do so since 1976, to help emerge from a collapse of its banking sector.

The IMF said it had tentati