Asian Stocks Slump

Asian stocks declined, a day after the region's benchmark index rallied the most in a decade, as concern earnings will deteriorate overshadowed a $2 trillion global bank rescue.

Posco, Asia's third-largest steelmaker, plunged 8.4 percent in Seoul after saying demand will decline this quarter, while BHP Billiton Ltd. lost almost 4 percent as oil dropped. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan's third-biggest shipping line operator by sales, tumbled 8.8 percent after marine transport rates slumped to a three-year low. China Construction Bank Corp. fell 4.8 percent after Citigroup Inc. said Chinese lenders' profits may fall in 2009 as bad loans rise.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 1.9 percent to 94.81 as of 11:51 a.m. in Tokyo, led by producers of commodities and consumer discretionary goods. The index has dropped 40 percent this year on concern frozen credit markets will trigger a global recession.

Japan's stocks fell as concern slowing demand will weigh on company earnings overshadowed the U.S. government's plan to inject $250 billion into banks. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 136.35, or 1.4 percent, to 9,311.22 at the 11 a.m. trading break in Tokyo.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures slid 1.4 percent. The S&P fell 0.5 percent to 998.01 yesterday, after gaining the most since the 1930s the previous day.

Most U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after the market's biggest rally since the 1930s as a worsening outlook for earnings forced investors to look beyond a $2 trillion global push to rescue banks.

Almost two stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.23 point to 1,003.12 at 3:48 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 43.65, or 0.5 percent, to 9,343.96 after a 936-point rally yesterday. The Nasdaq Composite decreased 47.32, or 2.6 percent, to 1,796.93.

Canadian stocks surged, sending the main index to the biggest gain in 32 years, on speculation that U.S. plans to invest $250 billion in banks may help stem the financial crisis and bolster economic growth. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index jumped 890.50, or 9.8 percent, to 9,955.66 in Toronto, for its steepest advance since December 1976.

Brazilian stocks
rallied for a second day, extending their biggest gains this decade, as a jump in commodity prices and the U.S. injection of $250 billion in banks eased concern that credit seizures will stall growth. The Bovespa rose 453.65 or 1.1 percent, to 41,282.78 at 3:51 p.m. New York time. The index gained 15 percent yesterday, the steepest advance since 1999.

European stocks climbed, sending the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index to its biggest two-day gain on record, as the U.S. planned to inject $250 billion in banks and urged the lenders to use the funds to spur economic growth.

The Stoxx 600 added 3 percent to 232.21, bringing its two- day advance to 13 percent, the most since records began in 1987. The U.S. investment in banks came after France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Austria pledged 1.3 trillion euros ($1.8 trillion) to guarantee bank loans and take stakes in lenders.

National benchmark indexes advanced in all 18 western European markets except Belgium, Iceland and the Netherlands. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 3.2 percent as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc gained. France's CAC 40 jumped 2.8 percent, led by Total SA. Germany's DAX rallied 2.7 percent.,
10/14/2008 8:42:18 PM