Europe, Asia Down, Futures Off Slightly

More of the same this morning in the overseas markets:

AP: The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 68.07 points, or 1.6 per cent, at 4,140.48, while Germany’s DAX was 34.09 points, or 0.7 per cent, lower at 4,545.38. The CAC-40 in France was down 40.76 points, or 1.3 per cent, at 3,176.64. Financial stocks were being beaten down once again following Citigroup Inc.’s announcement of massive job cuts earlier in the week, with BNP Paribas SA, Barclays PLC, Commerzbank SA and Deutsche Bank AG all sharply lower. However, potential merger partners HBOS PLC and Lloyds TSB PLC were higher as shareholders gathered to approve the tie-up.

Mining companies, such as Anglo American PLC, Rio Tinto PLC and Xstrata PLC, were also sharply lower as fears about the scale of the economic downturn around the world weighed on commodity prices.

Earlier, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 average fell 55 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 8,273.22 as investors digested a 64 per cent slump in first-half earnings at the country’s biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

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