Asia’s battered stock markets claw back

Asia’s battered stock markets claw back

Tokyo: Asia’s battered stock markets rallied Tuesday after several days of heavy losses as investors hunted for bargains despite continued worries about the ailing global economy.

Most markets around the region bounced back from an early sell-off, helped by a big rebound in Hong Kong, where stocks were up more than 11% in the afternoon, after losing 12.7% Monday.

Tokyo ended with a gain of 6.4% as the yen fell sharply and investors hunted for bargains after the Nikkei index tumbled to a 26-year low. Seoul rose 5.6% and Shanghai firmed 2.8%.

“The equity market was massively oversold and a rally was due," said RBS Securities analyst John Richards.

But some markets missed the rebound, with Sydney ending down 0.4%.

The yen, which has soared in recent weeks as people dump risky investments, dropped below 95 to the dollar and 120 against the euro, providing some much-needed relief to Japanese exporters.

Last week the dollar fell to the upper 90-yen level for the first time since August 1995, while the euro hit a six-year low below 114 yen.

Investors were hoping for further action from the US Federal Reserve to calm skittish markets.

The Fed, which led a coordinated global rate cut earlier this month that pushed its target rate down half a point to 1.5%, is seen as trimming its key rate again at the two-day meeting due to start later Tuesday.

Japan meanwhile imposed a ban on naked short selling of stocks to try to stabilise Asia’s largest bourse.