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Asian stocks reel from U.S. slump

Stocks in Taiwan are down again Tuesday, following a 6% fall on Monday
Stocks in Taiwan are down again Tuesday, following a 6% fall on Monday  

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Asian stocks are reeling Tuesday from the slump on Wall Street, with the region's biggest market down more than 2 percent.

U.S. tech stocks fell to a five-year low Monday, with Nasdaq down 3.36 percent to 1206.01(Full U.S. roundup).

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 average fell below 9500 for the first time in six months in the morning session, driven down by weaker techs such as Sony and Fujitsu.

It is going into Tuesday afternoon off 2.27 percent or 220.09 points to 9484.84.

The broader capital-weighted Topix is down 1.78 percent or 17.03 points to 938.33. Big banks Mizuho and UFJ are dragging on the market.

Australia is sharply lower, with the S&P/ASX200 off 50 points or 1.66 percent to 2959.2.

Market heavyweight News Corp, which is heavily dependent on the U.S. market, is 3.75 percent lower.

Taiwan falls again

Sony, which is heavily dependent on exports, is at a 9-month low of 4990 yen
Sony, which is heavily dependent on exports, is at a 9-month low of 4990 yen  

Taiwan's Taiex, which tumbled almost 6 percent on Monday after aggressive "separate country" comments at the weekend by President Chen Shui-bian, is losing more ground Tuesday (Full Story).

It is down 92.67 points or 2 percent to 4544.0, after going as low as 4506.60.

South Korea's Kospi is about 0.9 percent lower at 669.39. Samsung Electronics is down almost 2 percent to 303,000 won.

But Hyundai Motor, telco KT Corp and utility Kepco are all higher.

Singapore's Straits Times index is down more than 2 percent to 1451.02 in late morning trade.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index likewise is weaker, off 1.33 percent to 9731.20 near midday.

Hong Kong's dollar is pegged to the U.S. currency and its share market usually tracks Wall Street closely.

Wall Street at five-year low

U.S. markets fell across the board Monday, as the International Monetary Fund warned that it saw an increased risk the U.S. economic recovery would be weaker than expected.(Full Story)

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 3.24 percent or 269.50 points to close at 8043.63, logging a third straight triple-digit decline.

The Nasdaq composite fell 3.36 percent or 41.91 points to 1206.01, within spitting distance of a six-year low. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave back 29.64 points to end the day at 834.60.

Fears that the U.S. economic recovery has hit a roadblock fuelled concerns about the earnings of export-dependent Japanese companies such as Sony.

"We cannot help but shift money to defensive issues, those which are affected little by external factors," Hiroshi Nishida, general manager at Mitsubishi Trust Asset Management, told Reuters news agency.

Sony, Fujitsu lower

High-tech bellwether Sony tumbled 2.35 percent to 4,990 yen, a nine-month low.

Chip and computer maker NEC fell 2.19 percent to 626 yen and rival Fujitsu has dropped 3.14 percent to 616.

Tokyo Electron, Japan's biggest maker of chipmaking test equipment, is off 3.85 percent to 5000 yen.

Leading automaker Toyota is down almost 2.5 percent to 2800 yen, Nissan is off 3.5 percent and Honda is about 0.8 lower.

Big banks are sharply weaker. Mizuho Holdings is down a massive 6 percent to 262,000 yen and UFJ is 4.5 percent lower at 273,000 yen.

Telco giant NTT is off about 2.9 percent to 476,000 yen. KDDI is down almost 5 percent.

The Nikkei is just above its February low of 9,420.85, which was the lowest close since November 1983.

A planned announcement on securities market reforms by the Financial Services Agency later in the day is underpinning Japan's market. A set of measures is expected to include a further tightening of rules on short-selling of shares, according to Reuters.

News leads Australia lower

In Australia, News Corp is off 3.52 percent to A$8.50, near its four-year low of A$8.44 seen last month.

Other big bluechips Telstra, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton -- which reports full-year earnings Wednesday -- and NAB are all lower. Beer and wine group Foster's is a rare gainer.

In Taiwan, some of the techs stocks which fell hard on Monday have recovered a little. Asustek Computer is up 1.85 percent to T$82.50.

Chip foundry TSMC, the market's biggest stock, is down 0.65 percent to T$46.30. But its smaller rival UMC is up 1.9 percent to T$26.80.

In Hong Kong, HSBC is up slightly to HK$85.25 after the banking giant reported a 7 percent decline in first half net profit Monday (Full Story).

But most other Hong Kong bluechips are flat or lower.

In Singapore, bank OCBC is down 4.4 percent after reporting a 30 percent fall in first half profit.

Reuters contributed to this report.




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