LONDON: Asian and European stock markets slid today as the $700 billion US bailout for the financial sector seemed in danger of becoming a political football, dealers said.

Investor sentiment took another serious hit as JPMorgan Chase took over Washington Mutual after it collapsed in the largest US bank fai-lure ever, piling more pressure on markets. London fell 1.90 per cent, Frankfurt 1.69 per cent and Paris 1.91 per cent. In Asia, Tokyo closed down 0.94 per cent, Sydney 0.5 per cent and Hong Kong 1.3 per cent.

Martin Slaney, head of derivatives at spread betting firm GFT in London said, “Timing

is the key issue here. If a deal hasn’t been signed and sealed over the weekend, expect massive market turmoil. Monday will be a bloodbath.”