Egyptian unrest sends jitters to Asian markets

<p>Asian markets were sharply lower today with the pullback prompted by fears over the growing crisis in Egypt. The Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng Indices […]</p>

Asian markets were sharply lower today with the pullback prompted by fears over the growing crisis in Egypt. The Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng Indices were both down 1%.

In Japan, photo films manufacturer Konica Minolta was down 7.3% after a downgrade to “Neutral” from “Outperform” by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. The downgrade cam on the back of a lower FY10 earnings forecast by the company.
Furthermore, Meidensha Corp was down 6.8% after reporting a 9 month group net loss of 5.75 B Yen.

In Hong Kong, all sectors were down with Cathay Pacific Airways leading the falls. It was down 2.8% on fears that the Egyptian crisis may lead to closure of routes to the Middle East.

In Australia, The local share market recovered some ground in the afternoon, but still trading in negative territory. We saw a big fall at the open today, but we have bounced back a bit since this morning. Most of the Asian markets are also down today due to the impact of the Egyptian political unrest.

The finance sector, which was badly hit this morning, had bounced back a bit this afternoon. Most of the bank shares have recovered due to some bargain hunters. It was only Macquarie Group that’s still hurting this afternoon – down 2.18 per cent, due to its overseas exposure.

We saw some investors picking up trades on the dip and this gave the market some energy this afternoon.

Despite the drop in many sectors today, gold and oil shares have gone up as traders revert to safe haven assets. This bodes well with gold producers like Newcrest Mining (NCM) and Sta Barbara Mines, which are being picked up by investors today.

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