Asian shares fall | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 19, 2009

Asian shares fall

Asian shares fell Wednesday after taking their cue from a plunge on Wall Street where investors appeared to have doubts over the effectiveness of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.
Tokyo sank 1.45 percent as mounting worries about the worsening domestic economy and Europe's deepening woes weighed on sentiment.
"For the rest of this week, the Nikkei has more downside risk than upside," a Japanese brokerage trader told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Investors are still trying to figure out the exact scale of the nonperforming loan problem in the US," he said.
Investors on Wall Street had earlier appeared unconvinced by a 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus bill signed into law by Obama on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling 297.81 points, or 3.79 percent, to 7,552.60.
Shanghai slid 4.72 percent on profit taking and Sydney fell 1.5 percent as poor overseas news rattled investors.
"A number of factors have combined to weigh on global sentiment today ... creating a very negative environment," said IG Markets analyst Ben Potter in Sydney.
"It's a sea of red for all sectors today, with the financials feeling the brunt of the pain."
Hong Kong went against the grain to end up 0.6 percent after Chief Executive Donald Tsang said his government may take measures to help the city's economy.
TOKYO: Down 1.45 percent. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index dropped 111.07 points to 7,534.44, the lowest closing level since October 27.
Nomura Holdings slid 5.9 percent to 427 yen, Daiwa Securities fell 3.6 percent to 377 yen, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial declined 3.1 percent to 437 yen, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group dropped 4.6 percent to 3,120 yen.
Shares of Japanese automakers managed to buck the downturn as some investors took a positive view of the US Big Three's restructuring plans.
HONG KONG: Up 0.6 percent. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 70.60 points to 13,016.00.
Some property stocks fell on fears that rising unemployment is likely to deter people from buying homes.
Hang Lung Properties shed 3.1 percent to 14.28 dollars, Henderson Land was down 1.2 percent at 25.30 dollars, and Wharf Holdings slid 0.4 percent to 16.72 dollars.
SHANGHAI: Down 4.72 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 109.58 points to 2,209.86.
Index heavyweights, which had been in demand from institutional investors in recent weeks, led the market down.
Refiner China Petroleum and Chemical fell 6.0 percent to 8.58 yuan.
SEOUL: Down 1.24 percent. The benchmark KOSPI index shed 14 points to 1,113.19 points.
SINGAPORE: Up 0.80 percent. The blue-chip Straits Times Index climbed 13.14 points to 1,651.06 in quiet trade.
Banking shares were mixed. DBS gained seven cents to 8.10 dollars while United Overseas Bank dropped 12 cents to 10.80.
KUALA LUMPUR: Down 0.4 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index shed 3.30 points to 895.23.
BANGKOK: Up 0.31 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand composite index rose 1.38 points to 439.60 points as concerns about the state of the world economy dampened sentiment.
Top energy firm PTT Plc was unchanged at 159.00 baht, while its subsidiary PTT Exploration and Production edged down 0.50 baht to 93.00 baht. Another major energy firm, Banpu, lost 2.00 to 222.00.
JAKARTA: Up one percent. The Jakarta Composite Index rose 12.57 points to 1,330.610, helped by bargain hunting in banks and some coal-related stocks.
MANILA: Down 0.4 percent. The composite index fell 7.67 points to 1,892.23.
"The drop shows investors remain sceptical of the effect of the US stimulus package," Banco De Oro market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said.
MUMBAI: Down 0.22 percent. The benchmark 30-share Sensex index dropped 19.82 points to 9,015.18, its third straight day of losses.

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