A fresh batch of disappointing figures from the US and losses on Wall Street sent Asian markets tumbling yesterday August 20.
And the dollar remained under pressure from the yen amid uncertainty over the global outlook and as dealers awaited measures from Tokyo aimed at reining in the Japanese unit.
TOKYO: Nikkei fell 1.96 percent, or 183.30 points, to 9,179.38 as exporters were hit by the yen’s stubborn strength. Sydney fell 1.07 percent, or 48.1 points, to 4,430.9 and Hong Kong lost 0.43 percent, or 90.64 points, to end at 20,981.82.
SHANGHAI was 1.70 percent off, shedding 45.67 points to finish on 2,642.31.
The US announced on Thursday a new set of data that stoked growing concerns about the recovery in the world’s biggest economy amid fears of a double-dip recession.
The Labour Department said the number of Americans filing new weekly claims for jobless benefits jumped unexpectedly to 500,000, the highest in nine months and against forecasts of a small improvement.
It was the third straight week in which claims have risen, and underscores the threat posed by unemployment to the recovery. US unemployment hit 9.5 percent in July.
HONG KONG: Stocks fell 0.43 percent yesterday following big losses on Wall Street caused by a fresh set of poor economic data out of the US.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index slipped 90.64 points to 20,981.82. Turnover was HK$56.08 billion.
And Chinese shares fell on signs Beijing will announce further tightening measures to rein in the real estate sector, dealers said. Heavyweight HSBC led the blue-chip decline, falling 1.6 percent to HK$77.35.
SINGAPORE closed 0.35 percent, or 10.29 points, lower at 2,936.48, with investors staying on the sidelines after poor US economic data led to Wall Street losses overnight.
Genting Singapore was down 1.96 percent at S$1.50 and Singapore Telecom was down 0.34 percent at S$2.96.
“All in all, there’s no compelling reason for people to rush back into the (Singapore) market,” said Song Seng Wun, regional economist at CIMB Research in Singapore.
KUALA LUMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) rebounded for five consecutive trading days over the week. It continued to stay above its critical resistance of 1,350 when it closed at 1,395.02 points yesterday.
The FBM KLCI staged a strong follow-through rebound on Monday. It trended between its intra-day low of 1,358.95 to its intra-day high of 1,370.58 points. It closed at 1,370.58 points, giving a day-on-day gain of 10.43 points, or 0.77 percent.
In other markets:
SEOUL closed 0.23 percent, or 4.10 points, off at 1,775.54.
TAIPEI was flat, edging 1.63 points down to 7,927.31.
UMC fell 0.72 percent to NT$13.85 while TSMC fell 0.34 percent to 59.9.
MANILA closed 0.93 percent, or 33.21 points, higher at 3,593.60.
The index’s fifth successive rise helped it reach a 32-month high.
JAKARTA rose 0.40 percent, or 12.46 points, to 3,117.72.
Coal miner Bumi Resources gained 15 percent to 1,490 rupiah, cigarette maker Garam rose 7.4 percent to 40,050 and Telkom lost 2.2 percent to 8,800 rupiah.
WELLINGTON fell 0.98 percent, or 29.38 points, to 3,000.40.
Telecom shed 3.3 percent to NZ$2.03, Sky Television ended down 0.6 percent at 4.89 and Contact Energy lost 0.7 percent to 5.78.
BANGKOK rose 0.30 percent, or 2.69 points, to close at 893.92.
MUMBAI ended 0.29 percent, or 53.12 points, lower at 18,401.82.
VIETNAM: The VN Index increased by 2.61 points or 2.61 percent from deep declining trend and ended at 454.84 points at closing time.
The HNX index continued slumping by 0.84 point or 0.64 percent to 131.41 points.
The market liquidity in both floors remained at low level. There were over 34 million shares being traded on the southern bourse during today session while in the northern floor, the total market trade was posted at over 27.9 million shares for 665 billion dong in value.
EUROPE: Shares fell to their lowest close in a month, below a key resistance level as worries about global economic growth weighed on sentiment, with construction stocks among the worst performers.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares ended down 0.7 percent at 1,029.59 points.
London’s FTSE 100 closed down 16.01 points or 0.3 percent at 5,195.28. The index lost 80.16 points over the week. In Frankfurt, the DAX ended at 6005.16 points, down 69.97 or 1.15 percent on the day and dumping 105.25 on the week.
Paris’ CAC-40 index closed at 3526.12 points, down 46.28 or 1.30 percent, shedding 84.79 points since last weekend.
AMERICA: Stocks closed moderately lower Friday as investors’ pessimistic view of the economy deepened.
There was little reason for investors to buy. There were no reports to offset Thursday’s disappointing news that growth in the domestic economy continues to slow. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57 points a day after falling 144. The other major indexes also fell moderately.
Oil prices fell again on worries that future demand will wane if economic growth remains tepid. Energy stocks were among the worst performers, including oil companies Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips.
The Dow fell 57.59, or 0.6 percent, to 10,213.62. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3.94, or 0.4 percent, to 1,071.69, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.81, or 0.04 percent, to 2,179.76.
For the week, the Dow fell 0.9 percent, while the S&P 500 index fell 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.2 percent. The indexes seesawed through the week as investors shuttled between optimism and pessimism about the economy.
The unemployment rate remains at 9.5 percent and analysts widely agree it needs to fall to lead to a stronger rebound.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 2.62 percent from 2.58 late Thursday. Its yield is often used to help set interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7742 9.8821 0.0908 12.076 7.519 7.422 6.9493 AUD 1.1187 1.422 0.0131 1.7378 1.082 1.068 0.1439 CAD 1.0474 1.3315 0.0122 1.6271 1.0131 0.9363 0.1347 CHF 1.0339 1.3143 0.0121 1.6061 0.9871 0.9242 0.1330 GBP 0.6437 0.8183 0.0075 0.6226 0.6146 0.5754 0.0828 JPY 85.615 108.83 132.99 82.805 81.737 76.531 11.013 EUR 0.7867 0.0092 1.2221 0.7609 0.7511 0.7032 0.1012 USD 1.2712 0.0117 1.5534 0.9672 0.9547 0.8939 0.1286 Bloomberg