Mounting fears about tattered government finances in Europe drove the euro down and hammered stock markets across Asia yesterday Friday February 5 following New York’s worst finish since November.
“What we’re seeing is a wave of panic selling,” said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong.
The euro dropped to US$1.3670 at one point in Tokyo, the lowest level since late May 2009.
“European debt concerns have strengthened the US dollar and this has stoked concerns that… risk aversion may heighten further,” Min Sang-Il of E*Trade Securities in South Korea said.
TOKYO plummeted 2.89 per cent, or 298.89 points, to end at 10,057.09.
The Nikkei’s dive came despite a 1.06 per cent rise in Toyota shares after the recall plagued carmaker raised its earnings forecast.
HONG KONG: Shares tumbled to a five-month low yesterday as regional markets tumbled after dealers turned bearish following heavy losses in Europe and the US due to fears over the global economy.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index dived 676.56 points, or 3.33 per cent, to end at 19,665.08, its lowest level since September 2 last year. Turnover was HK$77.47 billion
SINGAPORE: The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 0.72 per cent to close at 2,744.98 points on Thursday.
DBS Group was in focus yesterday after the bank reported a better-than-expected 67 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.
Singapore Exchange unit Sicom will launch an over-the-counter clearing facility for rubber trading in China by the second quarter of 2010.
KUALA LAMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) staged a follow-through pullback in unison with the weaknesses on the Wall Street and regional stock markets. It breached the support of its critical support of 1,250 when it closed at 1,247.90 points yesterday.
The FBM KLCI opened marginally higher at 1,261.64 before rebounding to its intra-day high of 1,268.07 on Tuesday, closing at 1,263.76, giving a day-on-day gain of 4.60 points, or 0.37 per cent.
SEOUL ended 3.05 per cent, or 49.30 points, down at 1,567.12.
AUSTRALIA, S&P/ASX200 plunged 2.32 per cent to end at 4,514.3.
Miner BHP Billiton fell 3.5 per cent to A$39.55 and ANZ Bank was down 2.4 per cent at A$20.90.
SHANGHAI ended 1.87 per cent, or 55.91 points, at 2939.40.
Banks led the decline after recent moves by Chinese authorities to rein in lending, while miners were also down with lower commodity prices worldwide.
In other markets:
TAIPEI tumbled 4.30 per cent, or 324.21 points, to 7,217.83.
Cathay Financial fell 6.39 per cent to NT$49.80 and Prince Housing shed 6.59 per cent to 12.75. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell 3.21 per cent to NT$57.20 and United Microelectronics lost 4.85 per cent to NT$15.70.
JAKARTA lost 2.86 per cent, or 74.25 points, to 2,518.97.
WELLINGTON ended 1.40, or 43.95 points, down at 3,104.99.
Fletcher Building closed down 2.3 per cent at NZ$7.52, Telecom lost 4.1 per cent to NZ$2.31 and Contact Energy fell 0.5 per cent to NZ$5.81.
MANILA shed 2.03 per cent, or 59.23 points, to close at 2,855.64.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone was off 1.7 per cent at 2,535 pesos and Ayala Land was off 2.4 per cent at 10.25.
BANGKOK lost 11.11 points or 1.58 per cent to close at 691.41.
VIETNAM: After the last trading session of this week, the index of Hochiminh Stock Exchange (STC) lost the 500 point threshold after five consecutive gains. Influenced from the southern bourse, the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) also lost points after two gains.
Closing the trading session, the VN Index tumbled 10.79 points or 2.14 percent to 493.04 pts. The liquidity slipped slightly against previous session. Total trading volume reached 31.74 million shares worth 1.465 trillion dong, down 7.4 percent in volume and 10.5 percent in value day on day.
Like the southern bourse, the HNX Index also lost 2.85 points or 1.73 percent to end at 161.84 pts with the total market trade of 16.88 million shares valued at 524.22 billion dong.
EUROPE: European shares fell for a third day yesterday, and notched up their worst weekly performance in 11 months, with banks extending recent declines, on intensified worries about eurozone sovereign debt.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares fell 1.9 per cent to end provisionally at 974.39 points, the lowest close since early November of last year.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 1.53 per cent to finish at 5,060.92 points.
In Paris, the CAC 40 plunged by 3.40 per cent to finish at 3,563.76 points while Frankfurt’s Dax fell 1.79 per cent to end at 5,434.34 points.
AMERICA: A battered stock market recovered from a sharp drop in late trading Friday but still posted its fourth straight weekly drop.
The Dow rose 10.05, or 0.1 percent, to 10,012.23 after being down as much as 167 points.
For the week, the Dow lost 0.5 percent. The index hadn’t fallen for four straight weeks since July. The Dow is down 713 points, or 6.7 percent, since closing at a 15-month high of 10,725.43 on Jan. 19.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.08, or 0.3 percent, to 1,066.19 and ended down 0.7 percent for the week. The S&P 500 index hasn’t fallen four straight weeks since March.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 15.69, or 0.7 percent, to 2,141.12. It lost 0.3 percent for the week.
About three stocks fell for every two that rose on the NYSE, where consolidated volume came to 6.5 billion shares compared with 5.9 billion Thursday.
Demand for safer investments rose. The dollar climbed, while Treasury bond prices inched higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite to its price, fell to 3.57 percent from 3.61 percent.
Gold fell. Oil dropped $1.95 to settle at $71.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 3.30, or 0.6 percent, to 592.98.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7705 10.6289 0.0871 12.1541 7.2446 7.251 6.7479 AUD 1.1515 1.5751 0.0129 1.8012 1.0736 1.0746 0.1482 CAD 1.0716 1.4659 0.012 1.6762 0.9991 0.9306 0.1379 CHF 1.0726 1.4672 0.012 1.6777 1.0009 0.9314 0.138 GBP 0.6393 0.8745 0.0072 0.5961 0.5966 0.5552 0.0823 JPY 89.25 122.081 139.598 83.209 83.2828 77.5047 11.4857 EUR 0.7311 0.0082 1.1435 0.6816 0.6822 0.6349 0.0941 USD 1.3678 0.0112 1.5641 0.9323 0.9331 0.8684 0.1287 Bloomberg