Asian shares down on dismal US figures

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian shares down on dismal US figures

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:49 pm

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HONG KONG: Asian shares on Monday followed Wall Street down after dismal jobs figures last week pointed to a faltering US recovery.

Embattled utility TEPCO was the biggest loser in Tokyo after reports that it was to record a massive loss following the meltdown at its Fukushima nuclear plant.

Trading around the region was quiet, with five markets on holiday, including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul.

Tokyo shares finished the morning 0.94 percent lower, Sydney was down 0.48 percent while Singapore was flat.

Asian traders were disheartened by the weaker-than-expected US jobs data which sent US stocks down as the Labor Department reported that the economy added a paltry 54,000 jobs in May.

In closing trade Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 97.29 points (0.79 percent) at 12,151.26.

"The outlook for the US economy is highly uncertain," said Southern Cross Equities executive director, Charlie Aitken, in Sydney. "Therefore, I am listening to the bond market and maintaining an ultra-conservative equity strategy."

The Japanese market was dragged down by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which has leaked radiation since its cooling systems were swamped by the tsunami of March 11.

Shares in the company briefly dived 28 percent following a media report that the utility would log a $7 billion loss in fiscal 2011.

The stock fell to 206 yen in mid-morning, down 80 yen or 28.0 percent from Friday, the maximum loss allowed for one trading day. It slightly recovered to end the morning session at 218 yen, down 68 yen or 23.77 percent.

The Kyodo News agency, citing an internal company document, reported the loss excludes compensation for the tens of thousands of people affected by the ongoing crisis.

The worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from their houses, businesses and farms in a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius around the plant.

There has been no official estimate of damages yet, but the sum is widely expected to reach several trillion yen (tens of billions of dollars).

On the forex markets the euro strengthened slightly against the dollar amid growing relief over Europe's continued bailout for heavily indebted Greece, dealers said. (AFP)
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