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Asian Sharemarkets In A Bad Way

Plunging stock markets in Asia means trouble again with some markets shedding between one-third and one-half of their value. Compounding Asia's problem is the weakness on Wall Street and surging oil prices. John Howard reports.

Stock markets across Asia are in free-fall with the former darling of the market South Korea, becoming the region's biggest casualty - down 49 percent this year.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei Stock Average has been reeling with a loss of 19 percent so far this year, the Taiwan (Taipei) market finished down 30 percent last week, and Thailand shares have lost almost half their value this year.

There are also problems emerging in the Philippines markets amid allegations that President Joseph Estrada received millions in payoffs from illegal gambling operators and because of the hostage crisis in the south.

Perhaps as worrying for the world is the 11 percent drop by the Dow Jones Industrial average and the 18 percent drop by the Dow Jones Nasdaq composite index.

The slide by the Nasdaq has been the catalyst for selloffs of formerly high-flying technology and telecommunications stocks throughout Asia.

Investors in Asia have endured plenty of pain and uncertainty this year, not to mention billions of dollars in losses.

There is now a bear market in the US and Europe.


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