06/27/2008, 00.00
ASIA
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Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, stock markets fall due to oil prices and credit crises

By midday stock markets in the far east were down percentage points, feeling the knock on effects of Wall Street’s worst performance in two years. Automotive companies hit.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Asian stock markets are at a monthly low today, dragged down by Wall Street’s free fall yesterday, dominated by rising fuel costs and the gloomy economic outlook.

Hong Kong stocks lost 1.8%,  reaching their lowest level in over three months.  By midday China Mobile, Sinopec and Cathay Pacific Airways stocks had all lost percentage points.

Shares are also down in Shanghai, by 4.47% , reflecting weak international markets and fears of another increase in petrol prices.

Tokyo’s Nikkei index by midmorning was down  2.2%, at a two month low.  Analysts blame negative factors, such as the global credit crises, rising oil prices and the strengthening Yen.  The automotive industry seems the worst hit: Honda is down 3.5%, Toyota  2.3.

Yesterday the Dow Jones closet with a loss of 3.03%, at a two year low.  Most shares fell 3%; but General Motors saw a 30 year low.

The gloom was compounded by an unnerving forecast about oil prices that raised the spectre of higher inflation and even more damage to the economy.

Recently OPEC president, Chakib Khelil declared  that the price of a barrel of oil could reach 150-170 dollars per barrel over the summer.

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