Sell-off in Asian shares

<p>As expected, Asian shares were heavily sold off today, with traders bracing themselves for more bad news out of Italy over the next few weeks. […]</p>

As expected, Asian shares were heavily sold off today, with traders bracing themselves for more bad news out of Italy over the next few weeks.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 3.2% lower in early afternoon Tokyo trading, paring back some losses as the afternoon progressed but most major indices were significantly lower. Around 25 stocks dropped for every one that advanced on MSCI’s Asia Pacific Index, which was set for the largest loss since September 22nd.

In individual markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 2.6%, South Korea’s Kospi Index shed 3.8%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 2.4% down, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 4.5%.

In corporate news, the embattled Olympus group continues to reveal damning information. The admission that it hid losses by overpaying advisors could lead to a possible delisting by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, an outcome that will no doubt have a flow on effect on other companies and investors scramble to get out.

In Australia, jobs numbers came out in line with expectations as the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, down from a prior print of 5.3%. The AUD/USD was little changed, still slightly above 1.0130 at the time of writing.

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