Swedish shares rise after global market plunge

Stockholm's stock exchange bounced back on Tuesday following a slump after crashing financial markets in China and elsewhere in Asia sent ripples around the world.

Swedish shares rise after global market plunge
File picture of the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Stockholm's stock exchange rose by 3.1 percent after an hour of trading on Tuesday, clawing back ground after it took a tumble amid global turmoil sparked by Chinese markets suffering their biggest slumps since February 2007, before the last global financial crisis.

It followed the general trend in Europe, which saw the UK's FTSE as well as Germany's Dax and the French CAC 40 recuperating by 1.7 percent in early trading while shares in Italy rose 2.0 percent.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Wall Street was also expected to bounce back at the opening of trading later in the day, after suffering its biggest one-day loss in four years on Monday.

However, the Shanghai composite continued to fall on Tuesday, closing down 7.6 percent, following a period of unstable markets since a shock currency devaluation in China almost a fortnight ago. Tokyo's Nikkei index closed down 4.0 percent.

And Johan Javeus, chief strategist at one of Sweden's largest banks, SEB, told the TT news agency that it was too early to talk about a stable upwards trend for the European markets.

“It's normal after several days with large declines on a market that sooner or later you get a rebound. But that does not indicate that the market has hit rock bottom and is turning around,” he warned.

All eyes remain on the Chinese stock exchange, which has fallen more than 40 percent since June, in fear the turmoil will spark a new financial crisis in Europe. But Javeus advised Swedes to keep calm in the near future.

“It probably takes a lot more than that [to cause a crash], but what is happening is alarming,” he said.

But leading economists in Sweden warned those with cash invested in stocks and shares not to become unduly concerned.

“We have an extremely good period behind us,” said Maria Landeborn on Monday, savings expert for Skandia bank, referring to the past four years of stability in the global markets.

She told TT that while Swedes could see their investments decline in the immediate future, those hoping for a return in the longer term should not need to take any immediate action.

However she added that people with investments tied up in stocks and shares who were hoping to use the money within the next couple of years, for example to buy a new home or a car, should always consider keeping some of their cash in a more secure savings account.

“It's important that you have thought about the risks, and not been greedy and put everything into shares,” she said.


Swedish bank’s IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

A technical problem at Sweden's Swedbank on Thursday night gave customers a nasty surprise, with their account balances inexplicably going negative, payments impossible, and Swish payments no longer working.

Swedish bank's IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

By 11.30pm, more than 2,000 Swedbank customers had reported the fault to the site Downdetector, and the problem was still not solved by 17.00pm on Friday. 

“We have an ongoing IT disruption where certain customers see an incorrect balance on their accounts,” a message on the bank’s app read. “The reason is a planned update to our internal systems which went wrong. We apologise, of course, for that and are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.” 

The Swish payment service has also been affected, with the service, which is owned collectively by Swedish banks, reporting on its site that there was a “technical disruption at Swedbank and Sparbank which might affect Swish payments from these banks”. 

Some Swedbank customers posted their negative account balances on Twitter, expressing shock at the incorrect figures. 

The disruption comes at the worst possible time for many Swedes. Many people are paid on the 25th of the month, meaning this Friday marks the start of the payday weekend. Many will have also scheduled their bill payments for this Friday. 

Marko Saric from Malmö saw his account balance drop by 1.2 million kronor, going half a million kronor into the red. 

“It’s just totally crazy,” he told SVT. “We were going to go out and shop for the weekend. It’s lovely weather and the kids want to go out, but we can’t use our card. We’ve got no cash. Everything is in the bank.” 

“You’re just completely blocked. Colleagues need to make emergency food parcels for you. It’s just crazy that something like this should happen.” 

In its statement, the bank assured customers that their money was “secure”, and that the bank still had the correct information on what their account balance should be. 

“Customers who feel that they have suffered economic damage as a result of the disruption should contact the bank,” the message said.