Asian stocks tumble | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2010

Asian stocks tumble

Asian stocks lost ground on Tuesday with Tokyo and Shanghai falling sharply as markets worried about Chinese economic tightening and the troubled eurozone.
Tokyo's Nikkei index ended the session down 1.87 percent, or 188.95 points, at 9,937.04, its sharpest decline in seven weeks, while Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.74 percent, or 34.2 points, to 4,584.3.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.68 percent, or 158.23 points, to 23,007.99, while Shanghai's Composite Index ended down 1.61 percent, or 46.18 points, at a seven-week low of 2,820.18.
In one bright spot, South Korean shares ended up 0.48 percent, or 9.09 points, at 1,904.63, reviving after an exchange of fire plunged relations between North and South Korea to new depths last week.
The euro slipped to fresh two-month lows in Asian trade, due to scepticism that Ireland's international bailout package can prevent eurozone debt contagion.
In afternoon trade the euro stood at 1.3103 dollars, lower than 1.3121 in US markets Monday afternoon, and at 109.98 yen compared with 110.57. The greenback eased to 84.10 yen, from 84.25.
Shanghai's plunge came as expectations mounted of an imminent interest rate hike, following a slew of other measures this month to cool the mainland economy and tame inflation -- the latter a political priority for the government.
"There have been heightened expectations of an interest rate hike soon, which exacerbated earlier weakness in the index stemming from sovereign debt concerns in Europe as well as a stronger US dollar," Wang Junqing, an analyst from Guosen Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Although Tokyo jumped Monday on signs of a strong US shopping season, the mood turned on Tuesday.
"Japan is reacting nervously to declines in Chinese markets since China has recently been taking a hardline stance on controlling prices," said Tsuyoshi Segawa, equity strategist at Mizuho Securities.
Adding to Japanese jitters, fresh data showed that industrial production fell for the fifth consecutive month in October as stimulus effects waned and slowing global demand hit exports. In addition, unemployment rose unexpectedly to 5.1 percent, the first jobless rise since June.
However, a government survey forecast production to rise 1.4 percent in November and 1.5 percent in December.
In the United States on Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.36 percent, the broader S&P 500 index lost 0.14 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq fell 0.37 percent.
On oil markets, crude prices were lower as traders took profits from gains the previous day.
Manila fell 2.46 percent, or 99.88 points, to 3,953.70.
Wellington fell 0.18 percent, or 5.88 points, to 3,264.50.
Taipei was flat at 8,372.48.
Jakarta fell 2.74 percent, or 99.42 points, to 3,531.21.
Singapore fell 0.43 percent, or 13.51 points, to 3,144.70.
Bangkok edged down 0.38 percent or 3.88 points to 1,005.12.
Mumbai closed 0.60 percent, or 116.15 points, higher at 19,521.25.

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