US fiscal situation now concerns markets

<p>As expected, Asian stocks were lower as U.S. concerns, particularly around the fiscal situation, hurt regional sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1% lower […]</p>

As expected, Asian stocks were lower as U.S. concerns, particularly around the fiscal situation, hurt regional sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1% lower at early afternoon Tokyo trading. Around five shares declined for each two that increased today.


In individual stock markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 0.3%, Taiwan’s Taiex shed 2.1% and Hong Kong’s Hand Seng continued with its recent losing streak, down 1.8%.


In regional economic news, China’s Vice premier Wang Qishan said today that the global economic outlook remained grim and that backing an economic recovery was an outright priority of the Chinese government.


The comments come as a double edged sword – weighing on regional growth estimates but perhaps also a sign that China may introduce stimulus measures early next year which could be a boost for market sentiment. The Vice Premier also backed plans for continuing economic ties between China and the U.S. to achieve a balanced global situation.


Asian currencies were mixed in later afternoon trading. The Australian dollar continues to fall below parity, last trading at 99.72 against the US dollar. The Japanese Yen meanwhile continues to appreciate, adding more pressure to Japanese officials to again resume a coordinated intervention effort. The last two times haven’t worked with the currency providing a major headache for major Japanese multinational exporters. The USD/JPY was last trading at 76.82. Copper was down 1% at US$3.36, a lead indicator of global economic health.



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