10/08/2008, 00.00
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Asian markets in free fall reach lowest levels in years

Tokyo drops almost 10 per cent; Hong Kong, 5.6 per cent; and Shanghai, 3.8 per cent. All other Asian exchanges are battered. Investors are scared that the recession will be deep.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Asian stock exchanges continued to tumble today as fears grew that attempts to shore up the credit system were bound to fail and that the world was heading towards a deep recession.

After Wall Street lost more than 500 points yesterday, Asian markets saw investors dump stocks.

In Japan the Nikkei index sank nearly 10 per cent (9.159 per cent to be precise), the lowest point in four years.

Hong Kong, closed yesterday for a holiday, dropped by 5.6 per cent, reaching its lowest point since July 2006. Only 31 of the 1,087 traded issues were in the black.

In Shanghai the index was down 3.8 per cent; in previous days it had lost 5.93 per cent.  This morning 801 traded shares were down whilst 119 were up.

South Korea's key rate was down 6.1 per cent; Thailand's market was down 6 per cent; and Indonesia's stock market halted trading when its key index plunged 10 per cent.

Singapore shares ended the morning session five per cent lower with the blue-chip Straits Times Index down 4.99 per cent.

Taiwan shares plunged by 5.76 per cent.

According to experts investors are fretting over the difficulties the economy is facing, scared that the recession will be deep.

These fears are the more justified since steps taken by government to stabilise markets, like injecting huge amounts of capital, are not having the desired effect.

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