Japan ended higher Thursday, rebounding from early losses, but Australia closed lower, hitting a five-day low as investors remained sidelined after recent signs that the U.S. economy is headed into recession.
Rio Tinto rejected a sweetened $147.4 billion takeover offer from miner BHP Billiton, saying the hostile bid undervalued the company.
Asian markets tanked in the afternoon session Wednesday, sending investors on a selling spree after unexpectedly weak service sector data in the United States and Europe fueled fears of a recession. Japan plunged over 4 percent and Hong Kong closed more than 5 percent lower.
Macquarie Group, Australia's top listed investment bank, named Nicholas Moore as its new chief executive to replace outgoing CEO Allan Moss, and forecast a record full-year profit.
Asian markets continued their weak run Tuesday with financial stocks sinking after U.S. credit card firms and banks were downgraded, stoking fears their troubles could spread to the global sector.
Australia's central bank on Tuesday raised interest rates to a decade peak of 7 percent, as it struggled to keep inflation under control, and left the door open for even more hikes if the red-hot economy did not cool soon.
Australian consumers went on a shopping spree last quarter, data showed on Tuesday, giving a boost to an already red-hot economy and reinforcing the case for an imminent rise in interest rates.
Asian markets rallied Monday, as Microsoft's bid for Yahoo and China's purchase of a large stake in takeover target Rio Tinto boosted optimism over share valuations. Japan added 2.6 percent while South Korea advanced 3.4 percent.
Australia's inflation headache worsened in January while house prices boasted double-digit gains in 2007, figures out on Monday showed, adding to expectations for a restraining rise in interest rates this week.
Australia's Fortescue Metals said on Monday it has had talks with potential investors, as a newspaper reported that a Chinese sovereign fund and a mining company were seeking a stake.
Despite hefty interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week, investors were still worried about the health of the U.S. economy and the global ramifications of a slowdown. Asian markets ended mixed Friday, with Japan closing lower but Australia jumping 3.4 percent.
Asian stocks had a jittery session Thursday with markets dipping in and out of negative territory as fears of a possible downgrade of U.S. bond insurers hit financials. Both Japan and South Korea finished higher despite a negative start to the session.
Asian stocks were suffering a case of the nerves ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later Wednesday. Markets started the session on a strong note, but then slipped into negative territory with Hong Kong closing 2.6 percent lower and Japan shedding 1 percent.
Expectations of a further cut in U.S. interest rates buoyed most Asian stocks Tuesday. Japan finished nearly up 3 percent, but the Australian market bucked the positive trend to close almost 2.5 percent lower.
Asian stocks took a beating Monday with Japan and South Korea both closing almost 4 percent lower.
Asian markets ended a volatile week with a firm rally on Friday, which brought most of the major indexes back to Monday's opening levels. A U.S. tax stimulus package, reassuring jobs data and the prospect of another Federal Reserve rate cut buoyed investor sentiment.
Asian markets ended mostly higher Thursday, lifted by banks and financials. Japan and South Korea both closed 2 percent higher with Australia finishing almost 3 percent higher, buoyed by a Wall Street rebound on optimism that a rescue for U.S. bond insurers may be in the making.
Asian shares rallied on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve's biggest interest rate cut in over two decades, but nagging fears of a U.S. recession prompted many indexes to give up much of their early gains.
Asian stocks took another massive leg downwards Tuesday as growing fears of a U.S. recession renewed pressures on share prices. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished the session 8.7 percent lower, while Australia’s major index lost 7.1 percent.
It was a dismal session for Asian stocks Monday, with markets dragged down by financial counters. Japan finished almost 4% lower. South Korea shed nearly 3% and Australia declined for the 11th straight session, down 2.9%.