European markets again fluctuated Friday closing out a highly volatile
week of trading. Most of the markets were making gains by midday. For
VOA, Tom Rivers in London reports.
As the week wound down on the
European markets, extreme volatility remained the dominant feature. On
the one hand, fears of a global recession persist while hope in the
form of easing interbank lending rates and retreating oil prices have
given hope to some.
Because of these mixed messages, trade here
remains frenetic. The massive stock index gains on Monday and Tuesday
were mostly erased the following two days.
The weekend break may
provide a pause to reflect upon what the underlying direction is. Until
the markets settle down, the choppy conditions will likely remain.
leaders like British Prime Minister Gordon Brown are trying to reassure
their citizens that progress will be made in working through these
tough economic times.
"My undivided attention is on talking this
country through difficult times that everybody knows have been created
as a result of a global problem that started in America," he said.
"And, I think the whole country wants everybody who can and who is
prepared to do to work together to take us through these difficult
With the financial problems now moving beyond the
realm of just the banking sector and reaching into the real economy of
everyday life, Mr. Brown says he is on top of the situation.
are rebuilding our banking system," he said. "We are acting to ensure
that people with small businesses are helped. We are trying to make
sure that the housing market can start moving forward again and of
course we are helping people with their winter fuel bills."
latest U.S. housing data will affect where the European markets go. The
U.S. Commerce Department Friday reported the number of new homes under
construction fell to a 17 year low in September.