Carnage: Global stocks crash as tsunami sized sell off looms in New York

Russia’s RTS and Micex stock exchanges fell heavily again on Friday before trade was halted until next Tuesday, as global stock markets wilted under renewed fears of a global recession, with crude continuing to slide despite OPEC announcing cuts to produc

Despite a rally on Wall Street overnight Thursday, which saw the Dow manage a gain, Asian stocks sold off in Friday trade, with the Nikkei closing more than 9.6% lower, and the Hang Seng down 8.3%.  This has flowed through to Europe where the FTSE 100 is down more than 8.2% at 13.00 GMT, with the Dax down 8.6% in Frankfurt and the Cac down 8.9% in Paris.  A spate of outlook downgrades and forecasts have added to the gloom, which is seeing billions wiped from the value of companies around the world.  In Tokyo, Sony slumped 14% after it lowered its Net Profit forecast to $1.5 Billion for the year through to March 2009, a cut of more than 59%, as sliding sales for electronics eat into its bottom line. In Europe carmakers, Renault, Fiat and Daimler have slashed their earnings forecasts and offered renewed warnings about the outlook as car sales slump.  In Britain banking and financial stocks have been hammered on the release of official data showing the British economy contracted in the 3rd Quarter.

In Russia, heavily dependent on oil revenues, further gloom has come from the renewed slump in crude prices.  After falling below $70BBL this week, Brent and Nymex crude futures have continued falling on Friday towards the $60 BBL mark.  The falls have continued even after OPEC announced a cut of 1.5 million barrels per day from next month as crude demand forecasts nosedive with major economies either in, or on the brink of recession.  After the announcement of the production cut crude continued to fall with 1 month Brent futures going below $60 BBL.

In Moscow the sell off saw all major stocks hammered.  At the trading halt on the Micex Gazprom and Lukoil were down 15%, with Sberbank down 22%, Norilsk Nickel was down 20%, MTS down 21%.

Investor eyes are turning to the opening of trade in New York with futures indicating an immediate drop of more than 6% with mounting fears that panic selling in New York could see trading halted for the first time since 1997 as circuit breaker provisions come into effect.