Amsterdam stocks continue to slide

The Amsterdam stock exchange opened 6% lower on Tuesday, falling close to the 400 point mark in early trading.

By 10.30am, the blue chip AEX index had recovered slightly to around 415 points.
Tuesday’s decline follows Monday’s panic selling which saw the AEX slide by over 6% to 422.45 points
It was the biggest drop on the index since the September 11 attacks in the US in 2001 and the fifth day of heavy losses in a row. Financial stocks in particular were badly hit.
The downturn came a day after central bank president Nout Wellink warned that the American credit crisis would have an effect on the Dutch economy and called on finance minister Wouter Bos to start planning to offset any economic downturn.
‘Investors are throwing in the towel,’ Rik Zwaneveld of AFS Brokers told Het Financieele Dagblad.
Tom Muleer, an analyst at Theodoor Gilissen, told the Telegraaf he did not expect a short-term recovery and suggested a possible sharp reduction in US interest rates at the end of the month could further influence the negative sentiment.
Economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven urged investors to hold on to their shares and wait it out, saying the Dutch economy was ‘not badly’ placed. ‘Industry expects to invest 4% more this year and unemployment fell again last year,’ she told a BNR radio programme on Monday evening.

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