President George W Bush is expected to announce that the US will host a summit to discuss the global financial crisis, a senior US administration official said.

The announcement came as Mr Bush prepared to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy - who has been publicly advocating for an emergency summit - and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at Camp David.

With the world gripped by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Mr Sarkozy has called for an overhaul of the international financial architecture established after World War II at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference.

Fears of a full-blown recession were fuelled by figures showing sharp declines in US consumer confidence and new-home construction, and stock markets around the world remain volatile as investors count their losses and ponder if and when the financial gloom may ease.

Despite the uncertainty European shares ended higher yesterday. The US Dow Jones Industrial average ended 127 points down, but was still up 4.75% on the week.

Interbank lending rates fell this week for the first time since July, providing some hope that the worst of the worldwide banking crisis may have passed.

Global financial institutions continued work to shore up the shaky world economy, with Ukraine saying it may receive up to $14 billion from the International Monetary Fund to stabilize its financial system.

The IMF, meanwhile, said it was investigating whether its chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn abused his power in an affair with a subordinate who has since left the institution - a potential distraction as world leaders seek to reassess how the world organizes its financial affairs.