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HK stock market pulls back from abyss


Other Asia markets mixed

October 24, 1997
Web posted at: 5:07 a.m. EDT (0907 GMT)

HONG KONG (CNN) -- Hong Kong's stock market rallied Friday, making up some of the Thursday losses that shook financial markets around the world.

Reaction in other Asian markets was mixed, and analysts remained wary of regional prospects.

"It might be a short-lived Hong Kong flu, but it's too early to talk about the viability of the stock market," said Tsutomu Asaoka, of Japan's Matsui Securities.

After plunging 199 points at the opening, the Hang Seng index finished the day up 718.04, or 6.89 percent, to finish Friday's trading at 11,144.34. That made up some of Thursday's 10.4 percent loss, the worst in Hong Kong since the 1980s.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Index also closed somewhat higher Friday, gaining 212.19 points, or about 1 percent. The Nikkei had suffered a 3 percent loss amid Thursday's global market turmoil.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Industrial index plummeted to its lowest point since January 1993, but made up most of its losses in late trading. Moderate losses of around two percent were also the rule in Australia, Malaysia, and Taiwan, while Philippine stocks finished up a meager 0.8 percent.

London's market opened Friday with an immediate 5.1 point, or 0.1 percent, gain on the news from Asia.

The plunge in the Hong Kong market had triggered declines in American and European markets Thursday, leading to the fifth-largest point drop in the history of the Dow Jones industrial average.

The volatility of Asian capital markets has been blamed on currency speculators. Defense of the Hong Kong dollar pushed interbank interest rates in the former British colony as high as 300 percent at one point Thursday, leading to the precipitous sell off in Hang Seng shares.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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