ASIA MARKETS: Tokyo Drops On Financials, Sydney Falls Again

ASIA MARKETS: Tokyo Drops On Financials, Sydney Falls Again

ASIA MARKETS: Tokyo Drops On Financials, Sydney Falls Again

The FINANCIAL -- According to Dow Jones, Asian stocks declined on January 21, tracking the fall on Wall Street, with Australian shares extending losses into an 11th session on resource firms such as Rio Tinto, while Japanese stocks plummeted on financials such as Sompo Japan Insurance.


In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 average dropped 2.8% to 13,475.59 and the broader Topix fell 2.4% to 1,309.58.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 2% to 5,631.80, New Zealand's NZX 50 index slipped 0.4% to 3,648.30 and South Korea's Kospi lost 1.4% to 1,709.99, while Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped 1% to 3,073.98.

China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.5% at 5,155.47 and Taiwan's Weighted index shed 0.4% at 8,149.91, giving up early gains.

Francis Lun, general manager at Fulbright Securities said Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index could drop as much as 300 points Monday, tracking Wall Street losses on Friday and the steep decline in Japan.

"It may regain some of the lost ground later in the day, like it did on January 18, if the Shanghai performs well. Volatility will remain high," said Lun.

Stocks in detail

In Tokyo, shares of Sompo Japan Insurancesank 4.1%, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurancegave up 5.2% and Mizuho Financial Group (MFG) lost 2.3% on continued worries about the health of the U.S. financial and housing sectors.

In Sydney, Rio Tinto (RTP) lost 4.1% and Woodside Petroleum (WOPEY) stock sank 3.7% on a weak trend in commodity prices.

In Asian currency trading, the U.S. dollar was quoted at 106.86 yen, compared with 106.71 yen in New York late on January 18.

February crude oil futures gained as much as 42 cents to $90.99 a barrel in electronic trading, after finishing 44 cents higher at $90.57 a barrel January 18 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) lost 59.9 points to 12,099.3, the S&P 500 index (SPX) dropped 8.06 points to 1,325.19 and the Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) fell 6.88 points to 2,340.02.