Monday, September 29, 2008

Asian markets fall on doubts about US bailout

TOKYO - Asian stock markets fell Monday amid investors skepticism that the deal reached in Washington over a $700 billion bank bailout would quickly resolve the bad debt crisis.

Adding to concerns of further global financial contagion was news Sunday that Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg pledged more than euro11 billion ($16 billion) to Dutch-Belgian bank and insurance giant Fortis NV to keep it from insolvency.

"There's an increasing realization that the cleanup and the mending of all that's gone wrong is going to take an extended period to work through, and we're going to see an extended recovery period," said Jamie Spiteri, senior dealer at Shaw Stockbroking in Sydney.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index was down 1.3 percent at 11,743.61, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 2.1 percent to 18,286.90.

"They're worried that another fire is starting in Europe," said Castor Pang, an analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial in Hong Kong, referring to the Fortis news.

Key stock indices in Seoul, Singapore and Sydney also declined, while benchmarks in New Zealand and the Philippines were marginally higher...


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