Dark day at Oslo’s Stock Exchange

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The Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Børs) fell along with those all over the world on Tuesday. Heavy selling, believed to be spurred by prospects for higher interest rates, led to new records, but of the dubious sort.

The Oslo Stock Exchange (Børsen) got off to a bad start on Tuesday and ended the day with heavy losses, after getting caught up in a worldwide sell-off. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported a record number of trades, with the old record of 210,000 set on August 9, 2011 beaten by 8,000 more. Nearly all were done at a loss, though, as all sectors saw their share values fall. All 25 of the largest companies traded on Norway’s biggest stock exchange saw their share prices fall by at least 1 percent.

Activity was heaviest during the first hour after opening, when fully 48,107 trades were carried out. They involved shares worth a total of NOK 8.2 billion. That compares to average trades during a full day last year of 105,500 at values averaging NOK 4.4 billion.

Trading was so heavy that it caused technical problems. Oslo Market Solutions, which delivers data services to the Oslo Stock Exchange, couldn’t meet the demands put on it, and neither it nor the exchange were happy. “This is of course not tolerable,” Per Eikrem, communications director for Oslo Børs, told DN. “In a situation where the market is swinging, all share price data needs to be available.” The system recovered later in the day.

When trading ended late Tuesday afternoon, the Oslo Stock Exchange’s main index was down 2.7 percent, to 784.79. It would have been worse if there hadn’t been some recovery late in the day.

The Norwegian companies whose shares changed hands the most included Statoil, DNB, Telenor, Norsk Hydro and Yara. All of them lost value, with DNB losing the most with a closing share price of NOK 152.30, down 2.59 percent. Next was Telenor, down 2.54 percent ot 172.50 per share, followed by Hydro (down 2 percent), Statoil (down 1.77 percent) and Yara (down 1.18 percent).

Among Norwegian shares hit the hardest was Norwegian Air Shuttle, parent company of Norwegian Air, which saw its share value dive 10.96 percent, to NOK 204.80. Not only did it get caught in the global meltdown, rival low-fare carrier Ryanair is reportedly making moves to reopen a base at Norway’s Rygge Airport in Moss, and re-expand its routes. A Ryanair spokesman downplayed the reopening on Tuesday, but CEO Michael O’Leary told shareholders Monday that it was interested in a return to Rygge.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund