10/10/2008, 00.00
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Asian markets panic after Walt Street’s plunge

Tokyo is down 10 per cent; Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok plunge more than 7 per cent. Shanghai loses just below 3.9 per cent as trading on the Jakarta stock exchange is suspended indefinitely after losing 21 per cent. Everyone is waiting for the G7 meeting amid growing scepticism. In Japan insurance company Yamato Life goes bankrupt.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Late morning saw heavy falls on Asian markets after Wall Street lost 7 per cent, reaching its lowest point in five years. Tokyo's Nikkei-225 index dropped 10 per cent; Seoul, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok all dropped by more than 7 per cent. Shanghai's index was down 3.9 as soon as it opened.

The latest deep plunge comes despite concerted efforts by world governments to save the financial system.

The United States is putting in place a US$ 700 billion rescue plan. Japan’s central bank put in 5,500 billion ¥ (US$ 55 billion). The European Central Bank injected € 100 billion (US$ 135 billion), all this in an attempt to stop the gaps in the banking system and reopen credit lines.

G7 countries are meeting today in Washington to discuss the crisis, but investors remain sceptical about their chances of finding solutions.

US President George W Bush will address the nation to reassure Americans against panicking.

Meanwhile as the Nikkei-225 index faced its biggest one-day drop since Tokyo's 1987 crash, the global crisis claimed its first Japanese financial institution, the insurance company Yamato Life.

In Indonesia stock market trading was suspended on Wednesday indefinitely after losing 21 per cent in the previous days.

The value of gold is up as the price of oil dropped below US$ 83 a barrel to a 12-month low.

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