Asia's Stock Markets Suffer as Nasdaq Slides

Published June 13th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Asia's major stock markets all lost ground on Tuesday, with telecom and technology shares suffering after the sharpest fall on the tech-laden Nasdaq composite in almost three weeks, according to a report the same day. 


Tokyo's blue-chip index ended narrowly lower after recouping earlier declines, while Hong Kong slid 2 percent and Singapore suffered a similar reverse by late afternoon. The Korean market tumbled almost 5 percent as overseas investors dumped its blue-chip technology shares. 


Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 66 points, or 0.34 percent, at 16,914.95, after earlier falling as low as 16,768. 


In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended down 362 points, or 2.26 percent, at 15,692.94, suffering a late sell-off as investors moved to offload stocks that had posted sharp gains in recent sessions. The market closed some 70 points above its session floor. 


Singapore's Straits Times index closed down 1.15 percent at 2,018.63, recovering in the last hour of trade after earlier falling below 2,000 as key telecom and financial-services stocks headed south. In Seoul, the Kospi index closed down 4.9 percent at 804.45. 


On U.S. markets Monday, the Nasdaq composite slumped to its first triple-digit points loss in almost three weeks, ending 2.76 percent lower after a profit warning from software maker Citrix Systems. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.5 percent and the broader S&P 500 shed 0.75 percent. 


In the currency markets Tuesday, the dollar dipped a shade against the yen, trading around ¥106.70 in late Tokyo trading from ¥106.85 late Monday in New York. The euro traded at 95.35 U.S. cents, little changed from 95.38 cents in New York. 




On Tokyo's Nikkei index, heavily weighted electronics and telecom shares fell in unison, with Sony falling 2.9 percent and Fujitsu 3 percent in response to the Nasdaq's decline. 


Nippon Telegraph & Telephone fell 2.1 percent, reversing the previous session's gain, after a senior politician called for it to cut its stake in cellular phone subsidiary NTT DoCoMo, the Nikkei 225's largest component. DoCoMo closed down 4.4 percent. DDI, another cellular player, lost more than 6 percent. 


Auto stocks also weakened, hit by concern that exports might suffer as the U.S. economy slows. Honda Motor ended 2.9 percent lower while Mazda Motor closed down 3.3 percent and Toyota Motor fell 3.4 percent. 


Outside the Nikkei, Internet investor Softbank tumbled almost 8.3 percent. 


Industrial stocks fared better, with Sumitomo Metal Industries adding 1.4 percent while parent Sumitomo Corp. added 1.1 percent. 

Telecoms, property depress Hong Kong 


Hong Kong's Hang Seng was hit by a broad slide in its largest components. Cellular operator China Telecom, the index's most heavily weighted share, dropped 4 percent after rising almost a third in value over the past two weeks. Hutchison Whampoa ended 0.8 percent lower after spending most of the session in the black, while its parent, Cheung Kong (Holdings), lost 1.9 percent. 


Major financial-services stocks also weakened, with HSBC Holdings off 0.3 percent while Hang Seng Bank, its domestic arm, fell 2.1 percent. Cathay Pacific was the Hang Seng's weakest share, falling 4.1 percent. 


Outside the main index, Internet investor Pacific Century CyberWorks lost 4.9 percent. 


In Singapore, DBS Group, southeast Asia's largest bank, was the main drag on the Straits Times index, shedding 2.8 percent. Singapore Telecom ended little changed after the government awarded a third domestic telecom license to rival Singapore Cable. 


Sydney's S&P/ASX200 index closed 1.1 percent lower, with media firm News Corp. losing more than 3 percent amid concern that a planned flotation of Plat Co., a satellite business, may not take place this year. Telecom shares also retreated. 


Taiwan's Weighted index fell for the fourth straight session, closing down 0.7 percent at 8,889.09 in thin trading as weakness on the Nasdaq put pressure on the local market's heavyweight electronics and semiconductor stocks. 


Manila's PHS Composite closed little changed from the previous day as investors stayed on the sidelines, ending just 0.22 points up at 1,522.15 after moving in a range of only 6 points during the trading day. 


Kuala Lumpur's KLSE Composite was the only market in the region to post more than a marginal gaining, rising 0.76 percent to close at 865.45. The Set 50 in Bangkok lost 1.7 percent and the JSX index in Jakarta closed 1.6 percent lower –  


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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