Prices in financial markets changed less in the fourth quarter of 1990 than in the third. Fears of a major oil shock subsided, although the influence of the Gulf crisis remained important. Stock market prices rose in most major markets during the quarter, and most bond yields declined. The dollar was generally weak, and touched a new low against the deutschemark on 10 December. Most markets lost ground early in the New Year but, in response to the outbreak of hostilities in the Gulf, the prices of both equities and bonds rose sharply on 17 January 1991 as news of early successes for the allies encouraged participants back into the market. Stock markets in the United States, Europe and Japan recorded rises of between I% and 8%. The largest-ever one day decline in oil prices helped the rallies, as did short-covering by those closing out positions in anticipation of further rises. At the same time, turnover rose significantly, particularly in equity markets, with volumes in some markets more than doubling.