Asia Mauled, But Europe Flat

Japan down 3.5%, to close to a 24-year low.  So far, Europe has stopped the pain.

AP: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average fell 260.39 points, or 3.5 per cent, to 7,173.10, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 289.72, or 2.4 per cent, to 11,921.52. South Korea’s Kospi was off 0.3 per cent at 1,055.03.

Elsewhere, Shanghai’s benchmark swooned 1.3 per cent, Australia’s stock measure was 1.4 per cent lower and Singapore’s key index shed 0.8 per cent…

European markets bucked Asia’s falls in early trade. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5 per cent, Germany’s DAX was up 0.4 per cent and France’s CAC-40 was flat. Wall Street was headed for a lackluster open as stock futures traded mixed. Dow futures were off 31 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 6,600 while S&P500 futures rose 0.9, or 0.1 per cent, to 687…

Oil prices were higher in Asian trade, with benchmark crude for April delivery up 71 cents at $44.32 a barrel by late afternoon in Singapore on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.77 overnight to settle at $43.61 a barrel

In currencies, the dollar fell to 96.70 yen from 98.20 yen. The euro traded higher at $1.2673 from $1.2548.

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