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Asian shares tumble over world economy fears

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-30

A drop in American consumer confidence that affected US and European markets Tuesday took its effect on Asian trade Wednesday. Tokyo shares tumbled 2.13 percent, as the Nikkei slid to its lowest level since December.

AFP - Asian shares tumbled Wednesday after sharp falls on Wall Street and in Europe on US economic recovery fears and worries of a potential slowdown in China, as a strong yen hammered Japanese exporters.

European banks also plagued sentiment, with concerns about a liquidity shortfall when a European Central Bank lending facility expires Wednesday, potentially leaving institutions with funding difficulties.

Eurozone banks must repay 442 billion euros (539 billion dollars) to the ECB on Thursday, leaving a potential liquidity shortfall with borrowing costs jumping.

In Tokyo, shares tumbled 2.13 percent as the benchmark Nikkei at one point slid to 9,358.38, its lowest since December 2009.

Sydney was off 1.74 percent and Seoul slipped 1.42 percent. Hong Kong was 1.14 percent down in early trade.

"Sentiment will likely remain sour all day today," Won Jong-hyuck at SK Securities in Seoul told Dow Jones Newswires.

He added that the "sharp drop in US consumer-confidence measure in June following disappointing US housing data have deepened worries over the US economic recovery, and this will likely lead investors to sell off stocks".

Fears for the US economy were stoked when research firm The Conference Board said US consumer confidence tumbled in June after three consecutive monthly rises amid increasing economic uncertainty and unemployment concerns.

The research firm said its Consumer Confidence Index declined sharply to 52.9 points from 62.7 in May, missing expectations of a reading of 62.0.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled by more than three percent before closing 2.65 percent lower Tuesday. Exchanges in Europe closed between 3.0 and more than 5.0 percent in negative territory.

"You've got a market that was wanting to believe that US economic recovery was sustainable, but that's falling away at the same time that Asia is moderating," Shaw Stockbroking's Jamie Spiteri said.

"And markets are increasingly illiquid this week, so that adds to the sensitivity."

Deepening the gloom was a report Tuesday that China's Conference Board economic index rose by only 0.3 percent in April instead of by 1.7 percent as originally estimated.

In Tokyo exporters were hit by the strength of the yen, damaging repatriated overseas profits and making their goods more expensive in weaker currencies. Canon tumbled 3.1 percent while machinery maker Fanuc shed 3.1 percent.

Investors awaited a Bank of Japan Tankan survey of business sentiment that will give an insight into the state of the economy Thursday, after earlier data this week showed a surprise rise in unemployment and a slide in output.

The euro continued to trade near an eight-year low against the yen at 107.98, while the Japanese unit was at 88.53 to the dollar from 88.57 late Tuesday. The single currency was at 1.2203 to the dollar from 1.2186 dollars.


Date created : 2010-06-30


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