11/20/2008, 00.00
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Asian markets fall tracking US pessimism

After bleak forecasts of US growth, world markets slide: Tokyo closes at -6.89%, a five year low. Japanese exports tumble to their lowest in 7 years.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Asian markets continue to slide, hitting their lowest point in 5 years; the price of petrol is also down to 53 dollars a barrel; analysts are increasingly convinced that the global recession is far worse than first believed.

Signs of the crisis are evident: the US Federal Reserve cut market growth forecasts (between -0.2% and 1.1%); the consumer index is down and Japanese exports are at a 7 year low.  Analysts now believe that recession will be “prolonged”.

In a domino effect, all Asian markets fell, following Wall Streets tumble to a 5 year low.  Yesterday the Dow Jones lost 5.07%.

The Tokyo index closed down 6.89%.  Investors are also discouraged by the strong Yen trading against the US dollar and the euro.  Ahead of market openings data was issued tracking the Japanese commercial deficit for October. This rare deficit is a result of restrictions in US, EU and Asian markets and the increased costs of raw materials.

Shares in South Korea fell 6.7%; Taiwan is at minus 4.53%; Singapore, dropped to 2.35% shortly after opening; by midday it was down 4.22%; Bangkok opened at minus 2.18%.

Hong Kong, by midday was at -5.5%.  Shanghai opened at – 3%, at midday it rose to -1.2%; Bombay by the end of the morning had lost 4.64%.

Najeeb Jarhom, a Singapore economist, told Dow Jones Newswire: “This recession is global.  No-one is looking for sound deals anymore.  No-one even knows if good deals exist.  Market values go up in smoke from one day to the next”.


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