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Asian markets hit by U.S. stock market plunge.

SINGAPORE, July 22 Kyodo

Asian stock markets tumbled Monday in the wake of a plunge on Wall Street last Friday, with traders saying there was widespread selling of blue chips and technology counters in Asia.

The worst hit was the South Korean bourse where panic selling drove the Korea Composite Index down 4.47% to 720.90.

Also battered was the Taiwan market where the high-tech heavy Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index dropped 2.29% to end at 5,043.50.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index sank 2.08% to 10,110.25 while Singapore's Straits Times Index declined 1.54% to 1,536.14.

Southeast Asian markets were also dragged down. The Stock Exchange of Thailand Composite Index fell 2.84%, while Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index dipped 1.98%.

In Tokyo, stocks closed mixed with the benchmark Nikkei average briefly falling below 10,000 for the first time in five months.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 13.35 points, or 0.13%, to close at 10,189.01, after hitting the day's low of 9,982.24.

Eddie Lee, strategist at DBS Vickers Securities in Singapore said, ''the Asian markets are just nervous about the U.S. market tonight after Friday's big fall. Nobody is quite sure where the bottom will be.''

Dealers said investors are concerned the persistent weakness of the U.S. share market will derail U.S. economic recovery, and this in turn will have an adverse impact on Asian economies, which are dependent on exports to the United States.

U.S. stocks nose-dived Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 390.23 points, the seventh steepest margin on record, to close at 8,019.26, the lowest since Oct. 14, 1998.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 37.80 points to finish at 1,319.15, the lowest since May 2, 1997. U.S. stock prices have continued a downtrend amid a spate of U.S. corporate accounting scandals.
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Comment:Asian markets hit by U.S. stock market plunge.
Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9SING
Date:Jul 29, 2002
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