Asian stocks fell Thursday morning, battered by persistent jitters over U.S. housing loan problems and their possible damage to global financial markets.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 2.6 % on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the morning session, and South Korea’s main benchmark fell more than 7Â % in early trade after markets there were closed Wednesday for a national holiday.
Taiwan’s main stock index was down 4Â % at midday;Â China’s main index in Shanghai was down 1.4 %.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 4.12 %.
Hong Kong’s blue chip Hang Seng Index was down 4.2Â % at midday.
Indonesia’s standard stock index fell as much as 5.6Â % in morning trade.
The Philippine benchmark was down 6.1 %, falling below a symbolic 3,100 support level early and then crashing through 3000.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 3.1 %
The New Zealand benchmark NZX-50 was down 1.6 %. The index has lost more than 8Â % in three weeks, including 4.5Â % since Monday.Â