Asian stocks down on Wall Street

October 3, 2008

, HONG KONG, October  3 – Stocks tumbled across Asia Friday, following a steep slide on Wall Street and amid concerns over the future of the multi-billion-dollar bailout deal for the US financial system.

Lawmakers in Washington were to vote later in the day on a revised plan to spend 700 billion dollars on a rescue package that the government hopes will ease pressure on the economy.

The US Senate on Thursday passed a revised plan overwhelmingly but investors fear the House of Representatives will reject that — as it did on Monday, sending world markets into a tailspin.

With Seoul and Shanghai closed for public holidays, most of Asia\’s major bourses were down. Tokyo slid two percent to close at a three-year low, Hong Kong ended down almost three percent and Sydney finished 1.4 percent lower, while Singapore was 2.81 percent off.

Taipei clawed back earlier losses to post a 0.7 percent gain on bargain-hunting.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved to boost confidence that the bailout bill would get the green light, but there were lingering doubts about its eventual impact.

"Despite the fact that it passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, its passage isn\’t guaranteed in the House," said John Wilson, equity strategist at Morgan Keegan in the United States.

On Wall Street Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 3.22 percent to a three-year low — days after its biggest single-day points loss on record following the House\’s defeat of the first bailout plan.

Market sentiment was also weak due to bad news about the US economy, said Kazuhiro Takahashi, equities chief at Daiwa Securities SMBC in Tokyo.

A sharp drop in Japanese

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