Asian Stocks Decline

Asian stocks dropped, extending the worst global sell-off in 21 years, after the rejection of a $700 billion rescue plan by U.S. lawmakers deepened concern more economies will fall into recession

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and DBS Group Holdings Ltd. led declines in financial shares as money-market rates and corporate bond risk rose. BHP Billiton Ltd. and SK Energy Co. dropped after oil fell more than $10 yesterday, the most in seven years. Regulators in South Korea and Taiwan tightened curbs on short selling to help stem market declines after U.S. stocks tumbled by the most since the 1987 crash.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 3 percent to 107.97 as of 7:31 p.m. in Tokyo, adding to a five-day, 4.9 percent retreat. The measure is set to lose 14 percent this month, the biggest monthly loss since September 1990.

Japan's Nikkei 225
Stock Average lost 4.1 percent to 11,259.86, its lowest since December 2004, as the unemployment rate rose to a two-year high in August while industrial production fell at the fastest pace in five years.

U.S. stock futures rose, signaling the Standard & Poor's 500 Index may rebound from yesterday's 8.8 percent plunge, after lawmakers said they intend to salvage a $700 billion bank-rescue package.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advanced more than 5 percent as Judd Gregg, the Senate Banking Committee's ranking Republican, and Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, said a deal would eventually pass. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the banking committee, said senators may deal with the bill tomorrow. Speculation the legislation may be revived boosted oil, lifting Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips.

The S&P 500 tumbled yesterday by the most since the October 1987 ``Black Monday'' crash and more than $1 trillion in market value was erased from U.S. equities after the House of Representatives voted down the plan designed to rid financial institutions of bad loans. Lawmakers and political analysts said the bill will need some cosmetic changes to pick up the 12 votes needed to pass the bill in the House.

The MSCI World Index of 23 developed nations has dropped 13 percent this month as almost $600 billion of credit losses and writedowns at financial institutions worldwide prompted banks to hoard cash, forced Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. into bankruptcy and spurred government seizures of American International Group Inc. and the U.K.'s Bradford & Bingley Plc.

The S&P 500 has declined almost 14 percent in September and the Dow average has lost 10 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index is down 16 percent. The S&P 500 has retreated 14 percent since the end of June for its fourth-straight quarterly decline, the longest stretch since 2001. The Dow has slipped 8.7 percent and the Nasdaq is down 13 percent.

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 0.5 percent today as Dexia SA, the world's biggest lender to local governments, surged 12 percent on a 6.4 billion-euro ($9.2 billion) state- backed rescue.

India's stocks benchmark advanced, ending a three-day, 8 percent slump. ICICI Bank Ltd. led gains after some investors judged the recent decline excessive. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, led a late rebound in Asia, gaining 2.1 percent to 12,860.43.

Russia's Micex
Index fell the most in two weeks, extending the worst quarterly loss for equities in the country since its 1998 debt default, after a two-hour trading suspension was lifted. The Micex fell 6.7 percent to 951.66 at 1:08 p.m. in Moscow, bringing its loss for the quarter to 46 percent.,
9/30/2008 6:10:22 AM