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Monday, March 2, 2009


Asian indexes drop as financial stocks get slammed
Concerns about the health of the financial sector worldwide and recapitalization plans of banks hurt financial stocks in Asia, causing the region's indexes to tumble Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 gave up 3.8%, South Korea's Kospi lost 4.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 3.9%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slid 2.8%, India's Sensex was down 2.5% in afternoon trading and Singapore's Straits Times fell 3.2%. MarketWatch (02 Mar.)

Bank bonds suffered substantial losses in February
Concerns about the health of financial institutions and government intervention took their toll on bank bonds last month. The bank-debt sector declined 4% during February, according to Barclays Capital indexes. Barney Frank, chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, said the government's efforts should not affect bondholders, but the loss potential has still scared off investors. Financial Times (01 Mar.)

Not all fund managers bullish on Chinese equities
About two-thirds of the major fund managers surveyed by HSBC see a bright future for Chinese equities and are overweighting them in their investment recommendations, a substantial improvement over the 50% who were bullish about China in the last quarter of 2008. However, Aberdeen Asset Management is worried that investors have gotten carried away with their optimism about China's short-term prospects, warning that the country is headed for "a hard landing." (02 Mar.)

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