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America Under Attack: Britain Recalls Parliament

Aired September 14, 2001 - 00:49   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: Difficult enough for families in the United States, but imagine being a world away really in Europe. Lots of people have relatives who worked at the World Trade Center and don't have information at this time.

Monitoring the situation in London, we turn to Richard Quest for an update on the markets and also this part of the story. Richard, lots of people still need information about their loved ones.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's no question, Colleen, that the large number of people - I mean, the foreign secretary - the British foreign secretary speaking yesterday said that it was known that at least 100 people - British people had perished in what happened in New York and he said that their numbers could rise much higher, possibly into the middle hundreds. And that's one reason why the British Prime Minister Tony Blair has recalled parliament. That parliamentary session will take place later on Friday.

Now, even though it has been three days since Wall Street lasted business, in Asia and Europe there has been trading in the financial markets. Of course, without New York's guidance, it's been a very different sort of trading session.

In Asia right now the NIKKEI average is up around one percent. In Hong Kong the index is down roughly half a percent. The Singapore STRAITS TIMES, which seems to be suffering the worst of the losses this Friday is down three percent.

The currency markets are very quiet indeed. The dollar is steady. It's 119 against the yen. It's around 90 to the euro. The European Central Bank, as expected, left interest rates unchanged on Thursday. Just talking about those dollar rates for one second, it's been made quite clear that actual trading levels, the so called foreign exchange markets, are very, very quiet. In some cases only 50 percent of normal trade is taking place because, of course, of the absence of the New York market.

Turning to the United States, the Chicago bond market reopened on Thursday in a shortened session, when the price of treasury bonds jumped. But Monday, of course, is the big day. That's when U.S. stock markets are due to reopen after an unprecedented four-day closure. The U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has continued to try to and build confidence by investors in the U.S. economy. He said the tragedy saw no reason to lose faith. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL O'NEILL, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We have every reason to maintain our confidence in the U.S. economy. No evil, no matter how unspeakable can destroy America's productive spirit. If anything, this evil act strengthens our resolve to be the most free, the most vibrant economy in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: And finally just before I leave you, one point that they have actually been saying, perhaps the best quote, Jim, that I have seen overnight from Asia, is a trader in Hong Kong who said, When it comes to speculative trading the markets do have morals, and we're not taking advantage of anything that may have happened in the United States. That's the way the financial world looks at this hour. Jim.

MCEDWARDS: All right. Thank you very much, Richard.

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