Markets dive after US lawmakers reject financial bailout

NEW YORK, September 29, 2008 (AFP) – Global markets panicked Monday after US lawmakers rejected a 700-billion-dollar rescue of the financial system, raising the prospect of deeper financial turmoil.

Wall Street blue-chip stocks suffered their worst single-day point decline after the US House of Representatives defeated the measure billed by President George W. Bush’s administration as critical to averting a wider economic collapse.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 777.68 points (6.98) percent to close at 10,365.45 in its biggest single-day point decline ever.

The slide eclipsed a 684-point drop on September 17, 2001, when the markets reopened following the September 11 terror attacks. In percentage terms, the blue-chip drop was the 17th worst on record.

The market bloodbath sent the Nasdaq down 199.61 points (9.14 percent) to 1,983.73, its lowest since 2005. The broad-market Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 106.59 points (8.79 percent) to 1,106.42, hitting its lowest level since 2004.

The plunge came with investors already fretting over deepening banking sector problems in Europe and the United States, with a series of banks saved with government aid.

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