Asia stocks track US lower after Obama bank reform
Asian stock markets tumbled Friday after President Barack Obama proposed a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street banks to avert future financial crises.business Updated: Jan 22, 2010 11:31 IST
Asian stock markets tumbled Friday after President Barack Obama proposed a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street banks to avert future financial crises.
Losses spread across most markets and sectors across the region, following an overnight retreat in the U.S.
Commodity prices eased while the dollar lost ground against the yen and euro.
Obama said he would seek to limit the size and complexity of large financial companies so their collapse wouldn't imperil the broader financial system and economy, leading to more bailouts at taxpayers' expense. The move comes amid growing public frustration with Wall Street and bank rescues.
As in the U.S., bank stocks fell in Asia but other industries also suffered steep drops as investors scaled back their riskier bets amid uncertainty about the ultimate effects of the U.S. proposal.
Japan helped lead Asia's declines, with the Nikkei 225 stock average plummeting 330.15 points, or 3 percent, to 10,538.26. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 593.28 points, or 2.8 percent, to 20,269.39 and Korea's main market index lost 52.08 points, or 3 percent, to 1,669.93.
China's Shanghai benchmark fell 2.2 percent, India's market shed 1.8 percent and Australian stocks retreated 1.8 percent.
In the U.S. Thursday, Wall Street was yanked lower by heavy selling in bank stocks.
The Dow fell 213.27, or 2 percent, to 10,389.88, its biggest point and percentage drop since October 30.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21.56, or 1.9 percent, to 1,116.48. The Nasdaq composite index fell 25.55, or 1.1 percent, to 2,265.70.
Oil prices fell in Asia, with benchmark crude for March delivery down 19 cents at $75.89 a barrel. The contract dropped $1.66 to settle at $76.08 overnight.
The dollar weakened to 89.91 yen from 90.49 yen. The euro was higher at $1.4120 from $1.4082.