U.S. stock market indexes made strong gains in afternoon trading today (Friday) after the U.S. central bank took steps to ease investor worries about access to credit.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S & P 500, and the NASDAQ were up as much as one-and-a-half percent in afternoon trading. European stock markets made large gains by the close of trading. London's Financial Times 100 index soared three and a half percent (205 points) to end at six-thousand-64.
The CAC-40 in Paris jumped nearly two percent (98 points) to finish at five-thousand-364 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained one-point-five percent to hit seven-thousand-378. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei index plunged more than five percent, losing 875 points to end the day's trading at 15-thousand-274. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped more than one percent (285 points) to finish at 20-thousand-387. The price of gold rose more than six-and-a-half dollars to trade at 658 dollars and 64 cents an ounce. The dollar was higher against the yen but lost value compared to the euro.