Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
President John F. Kennedy.
With France closed on Monday for some sort of Gallic holiday, Victory Over [fill in the blank] Day, (Luxembourg?) Great Britain and America are taking the day off too. Just as well perhaps, Asian markets are starting to look decidedly vulnerable and with civilisation closed for a holiday, a Black Monday in China, if it happens, will have limited spillover effect. Austrians, Belgians, Danes, Germans, Greeks, and the Dutch, are also celebrating something or other too. Much of Europe will be doing what
Europe does best.
Below, a skittish Asia starts splitting into two camps..
Japan, Hong Kong shares sharply lower, China stocks gain
By V. Phani Kumar
Last Update: 12:25 AM ET May 25, 2007
MUMBAI (MarketWatch) — Most Asian benchmarks were sharply lower Friday, spooked by strong economic data in the U.S. that raised fears of an interest rate hike and weighed on U.S. equities. In Japan, exporters Toyota Motor Corp. and Canon Inc. led decliners. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 dropped as much as 1.6% to 17,416.11 while the broader Topix index was down 30.69 points at 1,707.42. Toyota) lost 1.9% and Canon slid 2.2%. The dollar was quoted at 121.32 yen as compared with 121.40 yen late Thursday in New York. Earlier Friday, data released by the government showed that Japan’s core consumer prices were 0.1% lower in April compared to the year-ago period, slipping for the third straight month. Elsewhere in the region,
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 30.9 points at 6,248.2, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 1.4% at 20,511.58, New Zealand’s NZSE 50 was 0.6% lower at 4,306.21, Korea’s Kospi was off 0.5% at 1,637.96, Singapore’s Straits Times lost 1.1% at 3,492.42 and the Taiwan Weighted index was 0.8% weaker at 8,150.24. China’s Shanghai Composite, however, defied the trend and was up 0.4% at 4,169.52, as the B shares recovered from Thursday’s sharp fall, which was sparked by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s comment that he feared a “dramatic contraction” in the Chinese stock market