Oil price rise proves slippery for Asian markets

<p>Global concerns about the rise in oil prices took its toll in Asian markets today, with most share exchanges trading in the red. Both the […]</p>

Global concerns about the rise in oil prices took its toll in Asian markets today, with most share exchanges trading in the red.

Both the Japanese Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indices were down sharply.

In Hong Kong, all sectors were down with Consumer Goods leading the falls down around 3%. The falls come after oil prices surged to their highest levels since September 2008, raising concerns more expensive energy costs will derail global economic growth.

Cathay Pacific Airways, the city’s biggest airline fell 2.1%. Sands China Ltd tumbled 6.8% after its majority shareholder said it faced investigations by US authorities.

In Japan, Yahoo! Inc saw heavy trading activity after it announced it was in talks to dispose of its 35% stake in its Japanese Joint Venture with Softbank Corp. Yahoo Japan jumped as much as 11% to 34,600 Yen, the biggest intraday gain since October 2008. Elsewhere, Sharp Corp was down 4.6% and Okuma Corp fell 4%.

In Australia, the sharemarket was also in negative territory, following falls in the US overnight. The Australian dollar lost some ground after the release of the latest GDP figures.

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