Business, Finance & Economics

U.S. to host world economic summit

The first global financial summit will be held in the United States on November 15th, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino has said. President Bush will host the meeting to discuss the global financial crisis and ways to prevent it recurring. Leaders from the G20 group of nations - the world's leading industrialized countries and major developing nations - will attend.

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Whoever wins the presidential election, which will take place 11 days before the summit, will also attend. The meeting, to be held in the Washington, D.C. area, will consider the reforms needed to avoid another financial crisis and look at the progress currently being made. "The leaders will review progress being made to address the current financial crisis," Perino said.

Meanwhile US stocks were down in afternoon trading in New York, echoing declines in Europe and Asia as fears of a global recession hit investor confidence. Wall Street's main Dow Jones index was down 4%, while in Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 lost 4.5%, Germany's Dax fell 4.5%, and France's Cac gave up 5.1%. Job cuts at Yahoo and drugs firm Merck have increased economic concerns. Yahoo is to cut about 1,500 jobs - 10% of its global workforce - as it tries to restore the company's fortunes in the face of declining profits. The internet group has reported a 64% slump in third quarter profits.

The British pound has tumbled almost 3% against the U.S. dollar - falling to its lowest level in five years on recession fears. Sterling's fall came after the Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, warned that Britain was probably entering its first recession in 16 years.

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