9 Oct 2008

Asia-Pacific markets plummet

8:08 am on 9 October 2008

Markets in Asia and the Pacific plunged again on Wednesday, amid continuing fallout from the global credit crisis.

The slump followed a huge selloff on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones index close down 508 points, 5.1%, on Tuesday.

The New Zealand sharemarket closed down 56 points at 2948 on a turnover of $107 million on Wednesday.

The NZX50 index was down 1.9%, bringing the drop to 9.3% in the past four trading days.

Telecom was down 11 cents to $2.67, while Contact Energy fell 5c to $7.40 and Fletcher Building slid 6c to $6.36.

At 5.20pm on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar stood at 62.57 US, 87.85 Australian, 35.65 pence, 63.26 yen and 0.4586 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was 61.25.

Other markets

The Australian share market closed 5% lower as the financial crisis wiped $A56 billion from the value of listed stocks.

At 1615 AEDT, the S&P/ASX200 index was 230.6 points, or 4.99%, lower at 4388.1, while the broader All Ordinaries lost 228.1 points, or 4.96%, to 4369.8.

Japanese share prices plummeted 9.38%, as panic-selling erupted across Asia.

The US dollar dropped below 100 yen for the first time in six months as investors flocked to the Japanese currency as a safe haven.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index dived 952.58 points to end at 9,203.32. At one point the index was down 9.81%.

It was the worst day for Asia's largest index since a 14.9% plunge on 20 October 1987 in the wake of the "Black Monday" crash in the United States.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 5.5% lower, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 3%.