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  • » 10/01/2008, 00.00


    Small rise but lots of gloom on Asian markets

    Tokyo’s stock exchange gains 1 per cent but confidence levels plunge, sign of a gloomy mood. Everyone is waiting for US Senate to vote on a new financial rescue plan, but US public opinion wants offending banks to foot the bill. Economists tell government not to intervene in markets.
    Tokyo (AsiaNews) – Asian markets have not moved much today despite news that the US Senate is scheduled to vote on a modified financial rescue plan. 

    Exchanges in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore were closed for holidays, but Tokyo’s Nikkei index crawled up by 1 per cent.

    Other markets saw more substantial gains: plus 4 per cent in Australia and 3 per cent in new Zealand. However analysts view markets as near paralysis because of concerns over counterparty risk.

    In Europe the tea leaves are also contradictory. Everyone is waiting for the US Senate vote on the US$ 700 billion rescue plan.

    The new proposal before the Senate is like the first version rejected by the House of Representatives, but with some changes.

    However, US public opinion remains opposed to saving the financial institutions that caused the crisis. Many ask why US taxpayers should foot the bill for someone else’s mistakes after years of greedy laissez-faire.

    Some economic gurus have also called on US lawmakers to let the market take care of itself.

    Meanwhile data from the Bank of Japan suggests that business confidence is dropping.

    This month's figure for confidence among major manufacturers is minus three, down from five in the previous quarter.

    It is the first time it has been in negative territory since June 2003.

    What it means is that a majority of Japan's biggest firms are now pessimistic about the conditions they are operating in.

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    See also

    30/10/2008 ASIA
    Asian markets up but recession fears remain
    All stock exchanges gain ground thanks to lower interest rates. Even Tokyo is considering cutting its interest rate.

    29/09/2008 ASIA
    Asian markets slump in response to U.S. financial rescue plan
    Despite a new injection of liquidity by the central bank, Tokyo's stock market closes 1.26% lower. Other indices also negative. The emergency plan to stabilize the economy still has many opponents among both Democrats and Republicans. Voting will be held today in Washington.

    06/10/2008 ASIA
    Asian markets still in negative zone, fear spreads
    All Asian exchanges lose ground. US and European rescue plans do not remove concern over a worldwide economic crisis.

    10/11/2008 ASIA
    Asian markets rally in wake of Beijing rescue plan
    China commits to a 4 billion Yuan project and across the continent markets rally. Only Taipei and Singapore fail to recover.

    02/10/2008 ASIA
    US Senate vote unconvincing for Asian markets
    Stock exchanges are down. Uncertainty persists over vote in US House of Representatives. Economists view plan as trivial compared to the enormity of the crisis, a temporary panacea that will not solve the underlying problems.

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