Persson “unworried” by shaky shares

Stockholm's stock market experienced heavy falls in line with many other world markets on Tuesday. But Göran Persson, Sweden's prime minister, declared that he was not worried by the development.

“I am not more worried now than during previous falls – they are regularly followed by rises. It seems as though the logic is that it goes up, then down, then up, then down, then up,” he told news agency TT.

“The real economy is strong in Sweden and in the world at large, but it’s clearly more vulnerable now than it used to be, so in that sense one could be worried,” he added.

The Stockholm exchange fell heavily on Tuesday afternoon, following earlier falls in the morning and similar performances from other world markets. Both Tokyo and the Nasdaq have experienced sharp falls, as have most European markets.

At 2pm, the OMXS index was down 3.7 percent to 281.1, while the OMXS30 index was down 3.2 percent to 873.2. European index Eurotop 100 fell 2.5 percent.

Shares in large Swedish companies in many sectors fell heavily – Ericsson by 3.7 percent, engineering company SKF by 4.6 percent and SEB by 4 percent. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca was least affected of major Swedish companies, falling just 0.4 percent.

Commodities took the greatest beating. Vostok Nafta fell 10.4 percent and Lundin Mining by 12 percent.

“It’s a bit like a dog chasing its own tail. One person sells because the next person is selling,” said Henrik Moberg, finance analyst at Fischer Partners.

“But fundamentally this is because short rates are on the way up globally.”