Dow Jones closes at five-month low

The Dow Jones has closed below the 10,000 level for the first time in nearly five months, at 9963.3.

The result was further gloomy news on the economy for US companies and pulled Asian markets down in their stead, exacerbating the trend set by fresh waves of gloomy economic data from Pacific nations.

New York's key stock market index, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 171.32 points, a 1.71 per cent drop, at 9,919.58. The index has so far fallen eight per cent this year.

The Nasdaq technology stocks index fell too, losing 51.5 points to close at 1.791.6, its lowest since April 9.

By mid-afternoon trading in the FTSE-100 had recovered slightly from yesterday’s low to reach 5344.6 points.

The stock market falls came after weak consumer spending data from the US Commerce Department showed the economy continuing to slow down.

In the US consumer spending accounts for around two-thirds of the economy’s activity. (MB)

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