Party Ends: Japan Down 5% (World Stocks On Track For Worst Month Ever)

Japan down 5%. Other Asian markets mixed. Europe down 1%-2% at this hour. Oil to $64.

AP: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index sank 5 per cent to 8,576.98 after the Bank of Japan cut its key interest rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.3 per cent. Investors who wanted a full quarter-point cut viewed the step as half-hearted.

South Korea’s market extended the previous session’s 12 per cent rally with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index gaining 2.6 per cent to 1,113.06. Australia’s key index climbed out of negative territory to close 0.4 per cent higher…

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid as the afternoon progressed, falling 3.7 per cent to 13,801.72 after vaulting 12.8 per cent Thursday. Smaller Asian markets such as the Philippines and Taiwan both rose 4 per cent or more, while Jakarta’s main index shot up 5.9 per cent.

In India, the benchmark Sensex index surged 5.6 per cent to 9,547 as traders caught up with Thursday’s rally in Asian markets, when investors cheered a U.S. Federal Reserve rate cut and further central bank steps to boost dollar liquidity in emerging markets.

U.S. stock index futures were about 1 per cent lower, suggesting Wall Street would pull back Friday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average rose 189.73, or 2.11 per cent, to 9,180.69. The S&P 500 index rose 2.6 per cent to 954.09.

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