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David Cameron is leading a trade delegation to south-east Asia this week to boost UK trade and investment.
The Prime Minister is joined by 31 representatives from businesses from every region of the UK. Deals worth over Ł750 million and creating 270 new jobs across the UK are due to be agreed this week.
World Market Jeopardy Overshadows Presidential Inauguration
In an ironic contrast to the biggest ever presidential celebrations, America saw its bleakest ever reading for an inauguration day, with the Dow Jones plunging by 4%.
Last Wednesday saw a drop in the world stock markets, generating fears that escalating bank loses will paralyse the global economy. The news lingered over the inauguration of Barack Obama like a slick thundercloud of realisation.
Worrying news that Western banks, such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, are in irreparable jeopardy sent stock measures falling by over 4%. Optimism seemed delusional as Barack Obama made his inauguration speech promising to rebuild a broken United States. Investors, however, appeared more rational. They speculate that, regardless of good intentions, the new President simply wonÂ’t be able to offer a stimulus package effective enough to quickly save the American economy, let alone the rest of the world.
JapanÂ’s benchmark lost 2% in last Wednesday's remarkable drop in the market. Singapore, also, has cut its growth forecast for the year for a second time this month, stating that its economy is in danger of a 5% declination. Along with Japan and Hong Kong, Singapore is also suffering from recessional rigor mortis, with demand for exports abating.
The forecasts are especially hoary. BHP Billiton, the worldÂ’s biggest mining business based in Australia, revealed its intentions to cut 6,000 jobs (6% of employees worldwide) to align itself with current demand. Likewise, China-based insurance giant China Life speculated 2008 profits to be down 50% by that of 2007.
JapanÂ’s Nikkei 225 stock buoyancy sank 164.15 points (2%), whereas Hong KongÂ’s Seng Index suffered a 381.19 point drop (2.9%). Australia lost 1%, India 2% and Singapore 1.6%. Here in the West, however, the British FTSE was down 1.8%, the German DAX 2.2% and FranceÂ’s CAC-40 2.7%.
And finally, in an ironic contrast to the biggest ever presidential celebrations, America saw its bleakest ever reading for an inauguration day, with the Dow Jones plunging by 4%.