Accessibility links

Asian Stock Markets Follow Wall Street Decline

  • Katie Hamann

Stocks prices across Asia tumbled on the back of declines on Wall Street and pessimism that declining profits and sales in developed economies makes a global recession more likely. Katie Hamann reports from Jakarta.

After rallying the past few days, Japan's main Nikkei stock index led declines across Asia, tumbling 6.8 percent Wednesday.

A strengthening Japanese yen means exports will be more expensive and this is bad news for electronics and auto makers. Major exporters, such as Sony, Canon and Toyota all saw their share prices fall more than 6 percent.

The nation's banks also suffered because of concerns about lower profits.

India's third largest software service provider Wipro prompted jitters with its lower than expected quarterly results. Mumbai's leading stock index was down nearly 5 percent in late trading, wiping out Tuesday's gains.

Stock prices in Southeast Asia's largest economy, Indonesia, maintained the downward trend, shedding almost 4.8 percent.

Fauzi Ichsan is a senior economist and government relations head with the Jakarta office of Standard Chartered Bank. He says the latest price declines reflect new concerns about company profits and fears that the world is slipping into recession.

"Initially, investors and speculators were more concerned about the paralyzed banking system at the global level but once the global central banks pump in liquidity and cut interest rates and once there are signs that the banking system is adjusting to normal, now the fears are actually on the recession factor," Fauzi explained.

South Korea's Kospi index closed down five percent. The won fell three percent against the dollar. The South Korean currency has shed 31 percent this year.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 6.2 percent after warning's from Citic Pacific that it was facing a huge foreign exchange loss.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 3.2 percent. Strong performances by share prices in the textiles and home appliances sectors helped keep the index from falling further. Those industries have been buoyed by the central governments decision to increase export tax rebates.