The Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) ended a rollercoaster week back down in the dumps on Friday, with its main index down 3.64 percent and the oil price down nearly 7 percent. That slide left oil trading at less then USD 25 a barrel Friday evening, more bad news for Norway’s oil-fueled economy.
The OSE index has shot up and fallen down repeatedly this week but had seemed to recover by Thursday night, when it was collectively up nearly 9 percent from Monday’s close. On Friday came another downturn, despite all the crisis help and billions of kroner worth of financial assistance offered by the Norwegian government so far. A bailout announced Friday of businesses ordered to shut down comes after several other aid packages aimed at shoring up Norway’s suddenly threatened economy.
The country’s currency strengthened (a US dollar cost NOK 10.55 Friday afternoon, compared to nearly NOK 12 last week when it all but collapsed), but the stock market was as volatile as ever. “These are the sorts of days we see only in crisis times,” Peter Hermanrud of Sparebank 1 Markets had told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) earlier in the week. By Friday things were worse.
Hans Thrane Nielsen, portfolio manager and insurance firm Storebrand, doesn’t think the market has bottomed out yet. Shares in most of Norway’s biggest companies ended the week in the red, with Equinor down 6.5 percent, salmon producer Mowi down 6 percent, DNB down 3.86 percent and Telenor down 1.81 percent.