Asian markets open sharply lower : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Monday 17 April 2000 Asian markets open sharply lower TOKYO: Asian stock markets plummeted as they opened on Monday, reacting to the record losses on Wall Street last week that left many investors wondering if its bull market was over.

In the world's second largest economy, Japan's benchmark Nikkei Stock Average fell a staggering 1,180.15 points, or 5.8 percent, to 19,254.53. Dropping below the key 20,000-point mark, the Nikkei stood at its lowest level since March 17, with high-technology stocks being hit the hardest.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange temporarily suspended trading of June Topix futures and options as the huge selling orders for Japanese stocks sent the contracts to its circuit-breaker level.

Trading in June Nikkei 300 futures, which is done in Osaka, Japan, was also temporarily suspended.

Other stock markets in the region fell even further, with Australia's All Ordinaries Index down 5.6 percent at one point, and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index down 89.35 points, or 11 percent, to 711.54. The Korea Stock Exchange said it was a record fall, in both points and percentage, on the index.

The bourses were reacting to Friday's big losses on the U.S. markets in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 617.78 points, or 5.7 percent, to 10,305.77, in its biggest single-day point loss ever.

The Nasdaq Composite Index, home to technology stocks whose popularity has evaporated, tumbled 355.49, or 9.7 percent, to 3,321.29. The point drop was its worst ever, surpassing a fall of 349.15 on March 3, and it was the second worst in percentage.(AP)

-- Martin Thompson (, April 16, 2000

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