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FTSE 100: Markets Settle After Thursday's Rout

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PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Shell-shocked investors have been spared further heavy losses as stock markets held firm in the wake of Thursday's bloodbath.

While an uneasy calm descended over European markets, analysts predicted more pain unless politicians convince markets there is a consensus on how to solve the debt problems in the eurozone and in many other developed economies.

The FTSE 100 Index lost 4.7%, or £64 billion, of its value on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve fuelled recession fears by warning of "significant downside risks" to the economic outlook.

In choppy trading, the top flight opened 1%, or 60 points, higher but then lost all the gains before settling around 20 points higher.

Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average, which finished 3.5% lower on Thursday and has lost 6% of its value in the last two days, is expected to open slightly higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 1.9% lower after losing nearly 5% the previous day.

Chris Weston, a trader at IG Markets, said: "Unfortunately for the market, a lack of political leadership seems to be one of the biggest reasons as to why we can't make any meaningful inroads into solving this crisis."

Prime Minister David Cameron joined forces with the leaders of five other G20 countries on Thursday to call for decisive and co-ordinated action from the world's leading nations to help the global economy recover from recession.

An open letter to French and current G20 president Nicolas Sarkozy urged the eurozone countries to act swiftly to resolve the crisis in the region, where Greece remains teetering on the brink of a debt default.

The letter said the global economy needed a swift solution to the euro crisis while it also called for countries with trade surpluses to boost domestic demand and a global deal to remove trade barriers.

It followed grim warnings about the health of the global economy from the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, said the global economy is in a "danger zone".

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