Thursday, March 15, 2007

WORLD STOCKS Tumbled; MALAYSIA‘s Largest Drop in Week; ASIAN STOCKS Plunge 3% With Europeans Drop After Wall Street Second Biggest Drop in 4 Years

Asian shares slump on Wednesday and Europeans’ shares open sharply lower after Wall Street chalked its second-biggest point drop in 4 years. Shares in India, Philippines and Singapore tumbled more than 3% while shares in Japan, Hong Kong, South Koreas, Australia and Malaysia all fell at least 2%. The ripple effect of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 242.66-point (1.97 percent) tumble overnight spread in the region, dragging along the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) which fell 33.63 points, or 2.802 percent, to close at 1,166.38 today.

Dealers said investors over-reacted to Wall Street's meltdown, which sparked panic selling in most regional bourses today.
However Bursa Malaysia expressed its confidence in the market.

Chief executive officer, Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said:

"We are a small market; investors can be guided by what is happening in the bigger markets. I don’t think this will change in the foreseeable future. Again as we have said in recent weeks, we believe the fundamentals remain intact”
Tokyo’s Nikki fell 2.9% at close ending at 16,676.89 points and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index fell 496.2 points closing at 18,836.93
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Malaysia's Stocks Record Biggest Drop in a Week; IOI Falls
Updated : 14-03-2007 Media : Bloomberg; Story By : Chan Tien Hin
March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia's stocks tumbled, resuming a sell-off that stalled last week, as rising U.S. mortgage delinquencies suggest growth is slowing in the world's biggest economy. IOI Corp. and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd. led exporters lower. ``The question is whether the problem in the U.S. subprime mortgage market is just the tip of the iceberg,'' Ang Kok Heng, who manages the equivalent of $114 million at Phillip Capital Management Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur. ``The U.S. market fell quite substantially, so maybe they know better. If they had held up well, then Asian stock investors would have been less jittery today.'' The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index dropped 33.63, or 2.8 percent, to close at 1166.38. Today's decline is its biggest since March 5, the sixth straight day of loses that sliced 13 percent off the benchmark. The smaller Second

Board Index lost 2.1 percent to 92.56 while the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Emas Index declined 2.9 percent to 7743.42. IOI, the world's biggest oil-palm grower, fell 35 sen, or 1.9 percent, to 18.60 ringgit. IOI counts North America as its third-largest market. Malaysian Pacific, the largest Malaysian semiconductor company, dropped 20 sen, or 1.9 percent, to 10.20 ringgit. Unisem Bhd., the No. 2 semiconductor assembler, slid 5 sen, or 2.8 percent, to 1.77 ringgit. The U.S. accounts for about a fifth of export sales from Malaysia.

Home-Loan Concern
A report by the Mortgage Bankers Association in the U.S. yesterday showed the number of borrowers with the best credit who were at least 30 days late in their mortgage payments reached the highest level in almost four years. Delinquencies for subprime, or higher risk, borrowers reached 13.33 percent, also the highest since 2003's second quarter. Retail sales in the U.S. rose a less-than-forecast 0.1 percent in February as the coldest February in more than a decade kept shoppers at home. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey had predicted a 0.3 percent increase. Investors are ``nervous over concerns of rising mortgage delinquencies and slowing retail sales in the world's biggest economy,'' Wong Ming Tek, head of research at Hwang-DBS Vickers wrote in a note today.

Some of the biggest companies also dropped. Malayan Banking Bhd., the country's largest lender, declined 50 sen, or 4 percent, to 12 ringgit. Tenaga Nasional Bhd., the largest Malaysian power producer, slid 20 sen, or 1.8 percent, to 11.10 ringgit. Genting Bhd., Asia's biggest publicly traded casino operator, tumbled 2 ringgit, or 5.3 percent, to 35.75 ringgit. ``There's a concern if the U.S. slows it will affect the rest of the world; there'll be flow-on effects,'' said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney.

Wimax Bids YTL e-Solutions Bhd. rose 1.5 sen, or 1.7 percent, to 87.5 sen with 64.2million shares traded, making it the most actively traded stock on Malaysia's stock exchange. Technology companies YTL e-Solutions and Green Packet Bhd., are tipped to win licenses from the government to offer high- speed Internet access on mobile phones, analysts said. The government may award the permits to use so-called WiMAX technology after a cabinet meeting, Simeon Koh, an analyst at TA Securities Holdings Bhd. In Kuala Lumpur, wrote in a report. YTL e-Solutions, an investor in technology businesses, and Green Packet, a wireless Internet software developer, are ``emerging as the favorites,'' Koh wrote.

Digi.Com Bhd., Malaysia's smallest mobile-phone operator, isn't a frontrunner for a license, according to TA Securities. Digi dropped 30 sen, or 1.7 percent, to 17 ringgit.
Time dotcom Among other decliners, Time dotCom Bhd. dropped 5 sen, or 6 percent, to 78.5 sen. The phone services provider said it's not aware of any plans by Digi to buy a stake in Time's TTdotCom unit, or of any proposals for a joint venture between Digi and Time. It was responding to a stock exchange query on an Edge report that Digi would buy a stake in the Time unit. Digi said separately it isn't in talks with any parties on the joint venture. In the market, 895 stocks declined while 95 gained and 123 were unchanged. About 1.4 billion shares valued at 2.1 billion ringgit were traded today, lower than the three month daily average of 1.7 billion shares.

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Asian, European Stocks Plunge; By HANS GREIMEL Associated Press Writer
Mar 14, 6:57 AM EDT

TOKYO (AP) -- Asian stocks plunged Wednesday and European shares opened sharply lower after Wall Street chalked its second-biggest point drop in four years and rattled already nervous markets worldwide. The tumble came just as international markets were recovering in recent days from sharp declines in early March amid concerns about overvalued stock prices and slower U.S. economic growth. But those worries resurfaced as troubles at U.S. sub-prime lenders and lackluster retail sales pushed the Dow Jones industrials down nearly 2 percent Tuesday, sparking sell offs across Asia.

Stocks in Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Australia all fell more than 2 percent, while shares in Singapore and the Philippines tumbled at least 3 percent. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 dropped 1.7 percent shortly after the open, while Germany's DAX lost 1.8 percent. France's CAC 40 was also 1.7 percent lower. On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Asia's biggest bourse, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index sank 501.95 points, or 2.92 percent, to finish at 16,676.89 points. Foreign investors who bought up stocks during the recent rally led the selling, traders said. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.6 percent, Indian stocks dropped 3.1 percent, while Philippine stocks plunged 3.4 percent. Overnight, the Dow fell 242.66, or 1.97 percent, to 12,075.96 amid concerns about problems at U.S. sub-prime lenders, who provide mortgages to people with poor credit.

The U.S. Commerce Department also said sales at retailers rose a less-than-expected 0.1 percent in February, suggesting consumer spending might be waning. "The U.S. sub-prime concern has cast a great shadow on Asia. The worry is that it could spill over and cause the U.S. economy to slow down, and this will cause a domino effect on the world economy," said Lee Cheng Hooi, technical analysis manager at EON Capital in Kuala Lumpur. "There could be more bloodbaths to come." Still, other analysts maintained that Asia's economic fundamentals remain strong and that the recent round of declines in stock prices were more likely a correction to cool markets that had risen too far too fast over recent months.

"The sell-off is in sympathy with the sharp sell-off we saw overnight on Wall Street, and it highlights the continued nervousness out there," said David Cohen, chief of Asian economic forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore. "In perspective you could still say that this is a correction after the strong rally that was experienced for the previous several months around the world," he said. While the U.S. retail sales data and mortgage news that prompted the sell-off on Wall Street "are a little concerning," fundamentals such as strong U.S. jobs data released Friday were still supportive of globalequities. "The world economy seems to be remaining on an upward trajectory," Cohen said.

The slump reversed a modest recovery in global markets from even bigger losses that started late last month with a sharp sell-off in Chinese stocks Feb. 27, which contributed to a 416-point drop in the Dow later that day. The Shanghai Composite index fell 2 percent to 2,906.33 Wednesday. After gaining for six straight sessions the market was primed for a retreat, analysts said. "This is the market's own adjustment after gaining for six days," said Zhu Haibin, an analyst at Everbright Securities in Shanghai.

In India, jittery investors sold off almost every blue chip stock, dragging the 30-share Sensitive Index, or Sensex, the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, down more than 3 percent. Indian shares have seen wild swings each time the global markets have turned weak. The Sensex fell 43 percent in May-June last year - only to bounce back to hit record highs. The Sensex reached an all-time high of 14,643 on Feb. 7, before losing about 2,000 points, or 14 percent, in the latest round of global declines. Elsewhere Wednesday, Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.1 percent, Singapore's Straits Times benchmark sank 3.35 percent, and South Korea's Kospi closed 2.0 percent lower.----

Associated Press Writers Gillian Wong in Singapore, Eileen Ng in Kuala

Lumpur and Toby Anderson in London contributed to this report.


Blogger kittykat46 said...

Expect to hear some people jumping off tall buildings soon....

3:22 PM  

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