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DateLine Tuesday, 5 August 2008

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Oil prices, global economic worries hit Asia

HONG KONG: Asian stocks fell on Monday as a rebound in oil prices to above $126 revived inflation concerns at a time of growing signs that a downturn in the U.S. economy is spreading worldwide.

Fears of a looming recession in the world's top economy dented shares of Asian manufacturers that rely on U.S. demand, such as Toyota Motor, after data on Friday showed another contraction in U.S. employment and a steep loss at auto maker General Motors Corp European shares were seen headed for a third consecutive session of losses, with investors also bracing for results from HSBC and Fortis for insight on the impact of the credit crisis on the financial sector.

The dollar dipped against the euro, but still remains near a five-week high as investors sell other major currencies amid expectations problems stemming from U.S. credit and housing woes will affect other countries as well.

Monday, Reuters

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