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"The dollar fell below Y89 against the yen for the first time in 13 years as investors sold off the US currency after the proposed bail out for automakers collapsed in the US Senate.
Those concerns added to the surprise deterioration in the US trade balance. The trade deficit widened in October despite lower commodities prices,
The Japanese currency traded as high as Y88.40 against the dollar before trading at Y89.25 recently. Naoyuki Shinohara, Japan’s vice finance minister for international affairs, said currency moves had been excessive.
Stocks dropped across the region, a gloomy end to what had been a strong week for equities over hopes that a large US economic stimulus plan would help stave off a deep recession.
The FTSE Asia-Pacific Index was trading 3.8 per cent lower at 158.45
The dollar dropped further against the yen from overnight levels as a decision on the bailout of the US automakers failed to materialise, the US trade balance deteriorated, and unemployment data in the country showed the number of new workers filing claims for unemployment benefits jumped to a 26-year high.
Disappointing earnings from companies including Cummins added to the gloomy sentiment across Asia.
Data from China showing that retail sales in the country grew 20.8 per cent in November did little to bolster sentiment as concerns about exports and worries about deflation added to the global downbeat mood.
The Nikkei 225 extended morning declines, recently down as much as 4.2 per cent at 8,350.89, while the broader Topix lost 3.3 per cent to 821.87.
Exporters were predictably in the limelight, with automakers in particular taking a pummeling. Toyota lost 8.8 per cent to Y,2800, Honda dropped 11.2 per cent to Y1,949 and Nissan fell 10.6 per cent to Y311.
Other major exporters also dropped. Sony declined 5.5 per cent to Y1,870, Canon fell 6.9 per cent to Y2,555 and Nintendo fell 4.7 per cent to Y33,200.
Shares in Hong Kong suffered with the Hang Seng falling 5.8 per cent to 14,710.19 and the index of mainland Chinese shares traded in Hong Kong dropped 7.6 per cent per cent to 7,844.54.
In Shanghai, the composite index was trading 1.7 per cent lower at 1,997.250.
Financial shares across the region were hurt. US Bancorp was a bearer of bad news overnight in the US when it said it may incur $1bn in credit costs and writedowns in the fourth quarter.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group lost 4.6 per cent to Y476, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group lost 4.1 per cent to Y328,000 and Mizuho Financial fell 4.4 per cent to Y224,700.
In Hong Kong, HSBC lost 4.3 per cent to HK$83.40. Australian banking shares took less of a hit but in Korea, they were sharply sold off. Woori Finance sank 10.5 per cent to Won6,600, Shinhan Finance dropped 13.8 per cent to Won30,100 and Korea Exchange Bank dropped 13.5 per cent to Won6,770.
The Sensex opened for trading in Mumbai 3.3 per cent lower at 9,3245.79."
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