Asian markets nosedive

Agencies | Updated on August 09, 2011

Asian stock markets nosedived today as investors fearing a possible global economic slowdown continued to flee stocks.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunged 403.25 points or 4.43 per cent to 8,694.31. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tanked 1,367.12 points or 6.67 per cent to 19,123.45. South Korea’s Kospi plummeted 162.37 points or 8.69 per cent to 1,707.08.

Australia’s S&P/Asx 200 fell 135.80 points or 3.41 per cent to 3,850.30. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 26.36 points or 1.04 per cent at 2,500.46. Taiwan’s Taiex dropped 237.31 points or 3.14 per cent to 7,315.49. Philippine’s PSEi dipped 192.14 points or 4.44 per cent to 4,139.10.

Mr Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at Sydney-based stockbroker CMC Markets, attributed the market turbulence to fears that the US economy was slowing down.

“We’re clearly in fear territory,” he said. “The major driver here seems to be weakness in the US economy.

There are fears that it’s starting to stall and if that’s the case, the whole global growth scenario could fall over.”

Mr Shane Oliver, chief economist of Australian investment manager AMP Capital, said he was surprised that the Australian market had not stabilised today after steep falls in the previous two trading days.

“I would have thought we would have factored in a lot of the weakness, but obviously the fall on Wall Street was greater than Australian investors and Asian investors expected this time yesterday,” Mr Oliver told Australian Broadcasting Corp television.

The losses come on the heels of a rout on Wall Street yesterday, the first trading day since rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded American debt.

Published on August 09, 2011

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