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17 Mar, 2008


By Phil Cozens | 12:11:32 | 17 March 2008

Share prices continue to slide after the Bear Stearns $2-a-share Bear Stearns rescue by JP Morgan and the prospect of more savage sub-prime writedowns by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Bros this week.

The weekend move by the Fed to ease the rate banks lend to each other by 25 basis points prompted renewed speculation of a further 1% cut in general US interest rates tomorrow.

By 12.12pm the FTSE 100 index was at 5,480 level with a loss of 151 points and the Mid-250 index was 285 points weaker at 9,420.

In Europe the German DAX was trailing 237 points down.

British Energy resisted the trend at 621p, up 49.5p, on news that the group is in talks which could lead to a business combination or an offer for the company. Drax Group rose 23.5p to 538.5p in sympathy.

The Financial Times reported that the government, which has a 35.2% stake in BE, has asked E.On, RWE, EDF, Iberdrola and Centrica if they would be interested in acquiring part of the holding.

       
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