By Kevin Plumberg
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Mostfell 1-3 percent while gold rose on Wednesday on investor worries of lower corporate earnings in a weakening global economy, even as money markets continued to heal gradually.
Majorwere expected to open as much as 2 percent down , according to financial bookmakers, after the FTSEurofirst 300 index rose nearly 14 percent in the last two days.
A stock trader negotiates in the iBovespa future index pit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Across the world, leading central banks have slashed interest rates in a coordinated effort to bring calm to global financial markets, amid dire warnings of economic pain ahead.(AFP/Mauricio Lima)
Oil prices were not far from a 12-month low hit on Friday while the yen and U.S. Treasuries climbed, reflecting fears the damage that the financial crisis inflicted on the global economy is still working its way through the system.
Quarterly reports have begun to trickle in, with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Merrill Lynch set to post their results this week. Investors will be focused on the outlook and whether most expectations for a rebound in 2009 will have to be reined in.
“While the financial system crisis appears to be heading in a positive direction, the economy appears to be increasingly bad, and this is raising worries about company earnings. We still don’t know how much these might be hit,” said Hiroaki Osakabe, a fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management in Tokyo.
The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 2.2 percent and is down 12.5 percent so far in October.