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News of Steve Jobs' death causes market jitters

Shares back up in Germany after early fall, down slightly in NY premarket

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Apple stocks are now trading higher on the Frankfurt market, after falling earlier today on news of Steve Jobs' death.

The stock was down 5 per cent this morning to around €270 at one point, but the Germans have since recovered from their initial dismay and sent the stock up 1.9 per cent to almost €284.

Shares of the company on the NASDAQ in New York were down less than 1 per cent in premarket trading, with the exchange due to open soon.

At the beginning of August, Apple was briefly the world's most valuable company, overtaking sprawling oil group Exxon Mobil with a market capitalisation of $337bn to the oil giant's $334bn.

The fruity firm's dominance was in part down to the effect of the financial downturn on the global economy and oil prices, which helped push Exxon off the top spot, but it was nonetheless an incredible thing for a technology company to be worth more than an international oil and gas company.

Shares in the Jesus-mobe and fondleslab maker have seen a meteoric rise: from $4 at the end of 1997, when Steve Jobs returned to lead the firm, to $378.25 at the close of trading in New York yesterday. If those figures aren't mind-boggling enough, that's growth of around 9,400 per cent.

Markets jittered slightly when Jobs announced his resignation as CEO at the end of August, a mark of how entwined with his fate the company is in some minds, but recovered as things looked to be continuing as normal at Cupertino. ®

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