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Panic-selling hits markets in SE Asia

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October 11, 2008

Global Credit Crisis:
Panic-selling hits markets in SE Asia

Southeast Asian stock markets plunged to multiyear lows, tracking global markets reeling from the tightening grip of the credit crisis, while Indonesia decided to sit out the turmoil for a third straight day, reported Reuters.

Europe joined Asia's panic selling in stocks, knocking the benchmark world equity index to a five-year trough as fears grew that efforts by policymakers are insufficient to contain the global financial crisis.

"Everybody under the sun is selling. There's been a total loss of confidence and we're seeing panic-selling," said Gabriel Gan, head of sales trading at AmFraser Securities in Singapore.

Thai stocks fell over 10 percent to trigger a temporary trading halt, before closing down 9.6 percent with Bangkok Bank falling 14 percent and the Bank of Ayudhya losing 18 percent.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 7.3 percent to its lowest close since December 2004 as the city-state sunk into its first recession in six years, government estimates showed.

Malaysian stocks declined 3.6 percent, while Vietnam lost 4.7 percent. Philippine stocks closed down 8.3 percent, led by Lepanto Consolidated Mining which fell 15 percent while Metro Bank gave up 11 percent.

Indonesia dropped plans to reopen its stock market on Friday after a two-day suspension, and despite policy makers unveiling new measures aimed at calming fears that Southeast Asia's largest economy faced a new crisis. A sharp drop in Indonesian stocks earlier in the week had prompted authorities to suspend trading from Wednesday.

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