Asian markets recover after early losses
Asian stocks rebounded after a volatile day of trading Tuesday that sent markets nosediving in the morning before clawing back to more stable territory.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 1.7%,to 8,944.48, after losing more then 4% earlier in the day and briefly reaching its lowest level since March 15, the aftermath of the nation's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 3.2% and Canon, the world's largest camera maker, slid 1.9%. Inpex Corp., Japan's biggest oil-exploration company lost 5.5% in response to falling oil prices, which dropped to $78 a barrel amid a dumping of commodities.
Trading swung even more wildly on Australia's S&P/ASX 200 which hit a two-year low in the morning before turning around at noon to end the day with a gain of 1.2%, to 4,034.80.
Analysts told the Australian Associated Press that investors returned to buying after China's consumer price index data showed non-food inflation declining, delaying the prospects of another interest rate hike in Beijing. Australia is a major supplier of commodities to China.
South Korea's Kospi fell by as much as 10% only to recover for a loss of 3.6%, to 1,801.35, at its closing. The index, which was battered by fleeing foreign investors, was being bolstered later in the day by public institutions and pension funds, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading down 1.9% by late afternoon, a significant improvement from the morning when investors were spooked by China's inflation report showing year-on-year consumer price growth at a 37-month high.
-- David Pierson
Photo: A woman is reflected on an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo. Credit: Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press