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Paris market hits two-year low

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09:36 CEST+02:00

France's CAC 40 index dropped by 3.9 percent on Thursday, hitting a two-year low of 3,320, as stock markets fell across the world amid growing fears of another global recession. 

The Paris market has now had nine consecutive sessions of falls for the first time since September 2002.

The Elysée palace announced on Thursday that President Sarkozy will hold talks on Friday with German chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish prime minister José Luis Zapatero. The president is currently on holiday at his wife's holiday home in Cap Nègre in the south of France.

A spokesperson reported that the president has been in regular contact with European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet.

Markets have been concerned about the troubled economies of Italy and Spain and fears have grown about the fragile recovery of the US economy. Employment data expected later today in the US is expected to give more bad news.

Overnight on Friday the Dow Jones index in the US fell by 4.3 percent, the biggest one-day fall since October 2008, while Japan's Nikkei slid by 3.4 percent. 

The UK FTSE 100 index had a 3.43 percent fall, the biggest since the height of the banking crisis in March 2009, and Milan's MIB index was down 5.16 percent. Bank stocks across Europe were particularly badly hit.

The European Central Bank's purchase of eurozone bonds for the first time since March seemed to have little effect on the markets.

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso warned eurozone leaders they needed to do more. 

"Markets remain to be convinced that we are taking the appropriate steps to resolve the crisis," he wrote in a letter released on Thursday.

He also called for a "rapid reassessment of all elements" related to the recently agreed bailout fund so that it was "equipped with the means for dealing with contagious risk."

 

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