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    Oil and precious metals rose on supply concerns on Monday in thin holiday trade in Asia, while the few stock markets that were open, such as South Korea and Australia, unravelled on fear the credit crunch would spread further.

  • The Japanese market fell 1.4 percent in a quiet Friday session.  But Australia finished 1.1 percent higher.  Volumes were thin with many investors away for the lunar new year.

  • 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. 

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    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.

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    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.

  • A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Global Markets

    It looks like the Nikkei 225 has been beaten up the most since hitting its highs in July.  The Dow has weathered the storm better than most major global indices in both YTD and fall from its high in October.

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    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.

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    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.

  • A group of ruling party lawmakers urged Japan's government on Thursday to scrap taxes on dividends and capital gains and take other steps to reverse a 30 percent slide in the Tokyo stock market over the past six months.

  • A stockbroker watches his terminal during trading in Bombay, India, Thursday, May 18, 2006. Indian shares plunged Thursday, with the benchmark stock index tumbling 6.8 percent, or more than 800 points, its biggest point drop ever, largely on fears of higher taxes on foreign funds that invest in Indian stocks. (AP Photo/Rajesh Nirgude)

    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.

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    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.

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    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%.

  • Stock investors watch stock movement at a stock exchange in Chengdu, China.

    Most Asian markets managed to bounce back and close higher Friday, except for India's Sensex index which closed down by more than 3 percent.

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    Asian stocks closed mixed after a volatile trading session Thursday as investors flitted between profit-taking and bargain-hunting. Japan finished 2 percent higher -- it was down almost 1 percent at one point -- but Australia closed lower for the ninth straight session.