Asian stocks lower after Wall Street stumbles

Bangkok, Aug 11: Asian markets headed lower today over mounting concerns about the health of Europe's banks and France's debt rating. Japan's Nikkei 225 index sank 1.3 per cent to 8,922.32, wiping out gains of the previous day. The country's strengthening currency clobbered Japan's behemoth export sector.

Honda Motor Corp lost 3 per cent, while Nissan Motor Corp stumbled 3.5 per cent. Toyota, Mazda and Sukuzi Motor Corps each fell more than 1 per cent. Consumer electronics giants also slid, Sony Corp, by 2.4 per cent; Panasonic Corp, by 2.2 per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index stumbled 1 per cent to 19,489.03, but South Korea's Kospi index reversed earlier losses and rose 0.8 per cent to 1,820.47.

On Tuesday in Wall Street , the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 519 points, with selling largely spurred by worries about Europe. American bank stocks took hits because investors fretted that debt problems overseas might reach the United States.

France came under pressure amid concerns that it could follow the US and become the next country to lose its top AAA rating.


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