Markets braced for mayhem as US credit downgraded for first time
China and Russia with trillions of US debt react furiously to the news that America had lost its AAA credit rating
By Margareta Pagano
Sunday, 7 August 2011
World stock markets are braced for another bloodbath when they open in Asia tonight and across Europe tomorrow following the controversial decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the triple A credit rating of the United States.
Over the week, the FTSE 100 index lost 10 per cent with more than £148bn wiped off the value of leading shares, the third biggest amount in its 30-year history. In Japan, the Nikkei was down 5.4 per cent, in the US the S&P index was 7.2 per cent lower, and on Friday US treasuries showed their single biggest daily rise to 2.75 per cent since December, while gold reached a new peak of $1,683, up 10 per cent on the month.
Ross Norman of the gold dealer Sharps Pixley said: “What’s happening is simple – investors are de-risking and putting their money into safe havens like gold – which will keep climbing. Investors don’t believe that the politicians or the economists know how to handle this crisis, so they are forcing them into taking decisions.”