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Asian Shares Retreat After Wall Street Tumble

News From : DagangHalal.com (19 Jul 2010)

TOKYO– Asian stock markets fell Monday after U.S. consumer confidence weakened and corporate results fell short of expectations.

The region’s losses came after Wall Street tumbled on Friday, with all major U.S. indexes losing 2.5 percent or more. Second-quarter results from Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. disappointed investors because revenue fell even as the banks generated an increase in profits.

Adding to the gloom was a twice-monthly survey from the University of Michigan and Reuters which showed that consumers in the world’s biggest economy are becoming more pessimistic. That suggests the U.S. economic recovery will slow and is bad news for Asian economies whose exporters rely on America as a key market.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 194.42 points, or 1 percent, to 20,060.80 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.4 percent to 4,362.80. Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,733.18.

Benchmarks in mainland China and Taiwan also retreated. Markets in Japan were closed for a national holiday.

In Seoul trade, major banks lost ground, with KB Financial Group Inc. down 1.3 percent and rival Woori Finance Holdings Co. falling 2 percent.

Australia’s Aquarius Platinum Ltd. tumbled 24 percent amid worries over the potential impact of new mining safety rules by South Africa.

In New York on Friday, the Dow fell 261.41, or 2.5 percent, to 10,097.90. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 31.60, or 2.9 percent, to 1,064.88. The Nasdaq composite index fell 70.03, or 3.1 percent, to 2,179.05.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 86.66 yen from 86.56 yen. The euro fell to $1.2911 from $1.2929.

Benchmark crude for August delivery was down 24 cents at $75.77 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled down 61 cents at $76.01 on Friday.

— Business Times

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