News / Asia

Asian Markets Continue Global Slump

A photographer takes pictures of a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, August 5, 2011
A photographer takes pictures of a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, August 5, 2011

Asia continued to participate in the major global equity markets sell-off Friday. Fears of another drop into recession for the world economy spooked investors across the region. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei closed at its lowest level in five months, after falling nearly 3.75 of a percent in the latest session.

Stock prices also tumbled across the board from Mumbai to Hong Kong. Overall the major regional indexes are off about 10 percent from the peaks reached during May.

South Korea’s key KOSPI index dropped 3.7 percent to finish at its lowest mark in 20 months.

Kim Ji-whan, head of research at Hana Daetoo Securities in Seoul notes the South Korean market is undervalued and the country's economy is very strong compared to other advanced nations.

"But the problem is that most of the Korean big companies listed in the stock market are mostly export driven," said Kim. "That means they are heavily dependent on demand from the global economy. And, also, there are worries that the U.S. dollar could get weaker. And that means the Korean Won will get stronger. Korean exporters will suffer."

Foreign exchange markets were calmer than they were Thursday with anticipation of more intervention by Japan’s Finance Ministry. That kept the US dollar stabilized around 79 yen.

With economic vital signs rapidly growing weaker on both sides of the Atlantic, market researcher Kim does not expect an immediate recovery for equities here in Asia.

"We have to wait, at least, one or two months, before we see any economic indicators getting better," he said. "Until then most of the Asian markets, of course including Korea, will suffer I guess."

South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance confirms it convened an emergency meeting Friday morning as stocks plunged in Seoul and across Asia. The internal meeting was headed by vice minister Lim Jong-ryong. A ministry spokesman says officials will cooperate with related government agencies in an attempt to calm fears that are permeating the equity markets.

With China trying to slow its dynamic economy, the world’s second largest, analysts say there is a lack of a significant anchor for global growth.

That scenario has sent investors fleeing to the few investment instruments seen as still reliable should there be a huge worldwide meltdown.

Market players say there is now caution about the traditional safe haven of gold bullion because many investors are now cashing in on the commodity's already steep rise this year. They say that may force gold prices lower early next week.

Bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury are in demand, despite rates on some of the inflation-protected notes dipping below zero, meaning worried investors are essentially paying the United States government to hold their money.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid