Asian markets follow Wall St slide

Asia-Pacific shares slide after more gloomy data sends US stocks to six year low.

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei index has lost 15.8 per cent since the start of the year [GALLO/GETTY]

    With about half a million US jobs being lost every month, analysts are warning of another substantial contraction in the US economy in the first quarter of the year.

    Analysts said the continuing rise in claims spelled bad news for consumer spending, which drives nearly two-thirds of US economic activity.

    US investors remain unconvinced that the $787bn economic stimulus bill signed into law this week will have a significant impact.

    That, in turn, is bad news for Asia, whose export-dependent economies rely heavily on the US market.

    Earlier this week Japan, already in its worst recession in decades, reported its steepest economic contraction since 1974.

    So far this year Japan's Nikkei has lost 15.8 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 11.6 per cent and the Dow Jones industrial average is down 14.9 per cent.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Victorian Muslims of Britain

    The Victorian Muslims of Britain

    The stories of the British aristocrats who converted to Islam.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

    India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

    Falling into a debt-trap and besieged by bad weather, thousands of farmers are taking their own lives each year.