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Australia slashed interest rates Tuesday, presaging cuts expected in Europe later this week in the face of mounting evidence that the global financial crisis has already pushed much of the world into a damaging recession.
Australia's central bank cut its benchmark cash rate by a bigger-than-expected 75 basis points on Tuesday, in an increasingly urgent effort to save the economy from the recession rapidly engulfing much of the developed world.
The follwing is the text of the Reserve Bank of Australia's statement after it cut interest rates at its monthly policy meeting on Tuesday.
Japan's Nikkei index closed 6% Tuesday, as exporters gained on the yen's recent weakness, though other markets were down after reports pointed to a shriveling U.S. economy ahead of the presidential election.
Asian stocks rose for a fifth straight day Monday on hopes policy efforts so far to dampen the impact of the financial crisis would ultimately take hold, though data still painted an ugly picture of the global economy.
Most Asian markets fell Friday after the Bank of Japan's less-than-expected rate cut halted a powerful three-day rally, sending safer havens such as regional bonds and the yen higher.
Asian markets soared Thursday with Japan and South Korea making double digit gains on international efforts to provide liquidity to emerging markets and global prospects of lower borrowing costs.
Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei surging over 7% near the close of trade. South Korean shares though dropped into the red plunging as much as 7%, but paring back losses to close down 3%.
The majority of Asian stock indexes closed in positive territory Tuesday, despite highly a volatile session where stocks struggled to find direction. The Hang Seng ended 14.3 percent higher and the Nikkei 225 finished 6.4 percent higher after spending most of the morning session in the red.
Asian shares extended losses Monday, with Japan's Nikkei hitting its lowest intraday level since 1982, as investors feared fresh moves expected from central banks this week will not be enough to stave off a deep global recession.
Asian markets were massacred Friday, led by South Korea's 10.6% plunge and Japan's 9.6% tumble, as the global economic slowdown slashed earnings prospects for an array of companies.
Asian markets' climb gained traction amid a choppy session on Monday, led by Hong Kong's 4 percent rally. But recession jitters continued to keep investors cautious.
Asian markets were battered as the Nikkei plunged more than 11 percent and South Korea tumbled 9.4 percent, as oil prices dropped to a one-year low Thursday after downbeat U.S. economic data spread fears of a more protracted and sharp global slowdown than initially expected.
Asian markets fell and gold rose Wednesday on investor worries of lower corporate earnings in a weakening global economy, even as money markets continued to heal gradually.
Asian stocks surged, with Japan's Nikkei finishing 14% higher Tuesday after governments around the world readied plans to take stakes in banks to keep the global financial system from collapsing.
Asian stocks bounced from a four-year low Monday after policymakers around the world took increasingly bold steps to rescue the financial system, including guaranteeing bank deposits and taking stakes in banks.
It feels like 1997 all over again in Asia. Japan down 10%, Hong Kong down 8%, Singapore down 7% and Australia down 8% as markets around the world are gripped by recession fears.
Investor nerves were frayed and that was reflected in Thursday's chopping trading session with markets weaving in and out of negative territory even after central banks around the world cut interest rates to support the global economy.
Asian stocks saw a turnaround in trade Tuesday after a dramatic 100 basis point rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Markets were paring back sharp losses that had seen the Nikkei crashing the 10,000 level at one point in the session.
Asian markets fell 4% Monday and the yen surged to a 2-year high against the euro as investors doubted the scattered European response to the financial crisis and the $700 billion U.S. bank bailout could prevent a global recession.