Asian Stocks Fall

Asian stocks slumped, extending a global rout, on concern the seizure in credit markets will deepen a global economic slowdown.

Toyota Motor Corp. slumped 5.9 percent, yielding its spot as the world's largest automaker by value to Volkswagen AG, as the yen traded close to a three-year high versus the euro. Sharp Corp. tumbled 10 percent after cutting its profit forecast. National Australia Bank Ltd. lost 2.2 percent after Japanese and Australian central banks pumped more than $11 billion into the financial system to ease record-high money-market rates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.9 percent to 98.55 as of 11:09 a.m. in Tokyo, a fourth-straight decline. Nine of the gauge's 10 industry groups dropped. The measure tumbled 22 percent in the third quarter as the credit crisis forced Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. into bankruptcy.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 3.1 percent to 10,148.46, having earlier dipped below 10,000 for the first time since December 2003. Mitsubishi Corp., which generates more than half its profit from trading commodities, declined 4.7 percent after metals tumbled.

Australian stocks fell to a 3-year low as widening bank bailouts in Europe intensified fears of a prolonged global recession and commodity shares followed slumping oil and metals prices lower. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 2.1 percent to 4,444.20 at 12:10 p.m. in Sydney, the lowest since Oct. 28, 2005, and the fourth straight decline.

In the U.S. yesterday, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index retreated 3.9 percent, extending the worst weekly slump since 2001. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 370 points, led by plunges in Alcoa Inc., Boeing Co. and Walt Disney Co. Both gauges pared declines of more than 7.7 percent in the final hour as traders increased bets on a Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

Canadian stocks had their steepest drop since ``Black Monday'' of October 1987, as commodity producers plunged on concern their profits will be hurt by a global recession.The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index fell 5.7 percent to 10,193.28 at 3:33 p.m. in Toronto and earlier slid 11 percent for its biggest intraday drop since Oct. 19, 1987.

Emerging markets were particularly hard hit. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slumped 11 per cent, its largest daily decline since 1987. Trading was temporarily stopped in some major emerging economies, including Russia, where the market fell by just over 19 per cent, and Brazil, where stocks fell as much as 15 per cent.

Brazilian stocks plunged the most in a decade on concern the global credit crisis and economic slowdown will reduce demand for commodities and hurt the earnings outlook. An index of Latin American shares tumbled the most ever. The Bovespa fell 12 percent to 39,018.35 at 1:52 p.m. New York time, heading for the biggest drop since September 1998.,
10/6/2008 8:47:00 PM