Asian stocks continued to fall on Friday in reaction to the debt problem at Dubai World. AFP/CNA reports:
Hong Kong shares tumbled almost five percent on Friday, leading falls in Asian stock markets as investors were spooked after Dubai asked for a debt repayment delay for a key state-owned firm.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index dived 1,075.91 points or 4.84 percent - its biggest single-day drop in eight months - to end at 21,134.50 points.
Elsewhere, Tokyo plunged 3.22 percent, Seoul slumped 4.69 percent and Sydney closed 2.90 percent lower on global investor alarm about the potential for a widespread default following Dubai's shock demand.
Shanghai was 1.05 percent down with Chinese banks also down on concerns Beijing may tighten monetary policy.
Some important economic indicators out of Japan on Friday were almost ignored. Bloomberg reports more deflation worries for Japan.
Japan’s consumer prices fell at a near record pace in October, reinforcing the government’s concern that deflation will hamper the economy’s recovery from its worst postwar recession.
Prices excluding fresh food slid 2.2 percent from a year earlier after dropping a 2.3 percent in September, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. That matched the median estimate of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
However, Japan's unemployment rate fell in October. Again from Bloomberg:
Japan’s unemployment rate in October unexpectedly fell for a third month, a sign that the worst may be over for the labor market.
The jobless rate declined to 5.1 percent, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. The median forecast of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was 5.4 percent. The rate has been declining since reaching a postwar high of 5.7 percent in July...
Household spending rose 1.6 percent from a year ago, a separate report showed.
Stocks managed to recover some of their Thursday losses in Europe, the Dow Jones STOXX 600 rising 1.2 percent on Friday.
And there was further good news for Europe on the economic front. From Bloomberg:
European confidence in the economic outlook improved in November to the highest since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., suggesting the recovery in the 16-nation euro region is gathering strength.
An index of executive and consumer sentiment rose for an eighth straight month to 88.8 from 86.1 in October, the European Commission in Brussels said today. That was the highest since September 2008, when Lehman filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, compounding the financial crisis.
US stocks suffered a relatively mild fall on Friday after being closed on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 1.7 percent to close at 1,091.49.