While stock market woes have not been making headlines this morning in New Zealand - perhaps because they have become all too typical - the red ink has been flowing freely again in New York overnight at the beginning of the trading week. At the close of play the ailing NASDAQ was down to lows last seen in November 1998 at the height of the Asian Economic Crisis.
Apart from the seemingly endless series of blue-chip profit warnings and large scale corporate lay-offs in the US, the latest cause of market concern has been an exceptionally poor Japanese business confidence result from the closely watched Tankan survey.
The result which showed falls in confidence, investment, employment and profit expectations across the board in the ailing Japanese economy, has seen the Yen fall to 126.6 on the US/Yen cross rate.
The falling yen has taken most Asian currencies with it including the Australian Dollar presently plumbing new all-time lows of 47.99 US cents.
The Kiwi has also been suffering falling back below the US 40 cents mark for the first time this year.
At 11.30am NZT this morning the Kiwi was buying 39.8 US cents. (For a live quote on the NZ Dollar cross rate see…http://quote.yahoo.com/m5?s=NZD&t=USD&a=1&c=1)
blue chip Dow Jones index closed this morning on 9777.93
points down 100.85 or 1% for the day.
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=^DJI&d=5d)
technology heavy Nasdaq index closed on 1782.97 points down
57.29 or 3.1%.
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=^IXIC&d=5d)
broader S&P 500 index closed on 1145.87 points down 14.46
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=^SPC&d=5d)
European stock markets also performed badly overnight, Germany’s DAX closed down a further 1.2%, Switzerland’s market closed down 1.85% and the UK’s FTSE down 0.27%.
In early trading this morning the NZSE40 index has been trading relatively flat.
To view live updates of the state of Asian share markets
as they open today see…
(GRAPH LINK: http://quote.yahoo.com/m2)