Goldman Sachs denies writedown rumors

NEW YORK Fri Nov 2, 2007 4:05pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) on Friday denied market speculation that the top U.S. brokerage by market value could announce billions of dollars in writedowns.

"We've said there's no truth to these rumors," said Ed Canaday, a spokesman for the brokerage.

Goldman shares were down 12.23, or 5.1 percent, at $227.98 in late afternoon trading, underperforming the Amex Securities Broker Dealer Index .XBD, which was 3.2 percent lower.

Other brokerages also slid, with Morgan Stanley (MS.N) down 6.9 percent and Merrill Lynch & Co Inc MER.N, which the Wall Street Journal reported may have sought to delay billions of dollars in losses on troubled assets by moving them to hedge funds, down 9.1 percent.

Merrill said it was not aware of any inappropriate transactions.

(Reporting by Christian Plumb)