Asian Stocks Fall for Third Day as Global Credit Crisis Deepens

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — Asian stocks fell for a third day, led by financial companies, after the global credit crisis deepened in Europe and the U.S. lost the most jobs in five years.

National Australia Bank Ltd., the nation’s largest lender, dropped 3.8 percent after Hypo Real Estate Holding became the latest casualty of the financial turmoil that generated a $700 billion U.S. bank rescue plan. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, and Inpex Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest oil explorer, retreated at least 2 percent after prices of the two commodities sank.

“It’s been clearly shown in the past week or two that the issues aren’t just confined to the U.S,” said Paul Xiradis, who manages the equivalent of $11 billion as chief executive officer of Ausbil Dexia Ltd. in Sydney. “We’re reasonably defensive and just looking for opportunities to become less so. Once things stabilize we’ll be more aggressive.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.9 percent to 102.68 as of 9:50 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure last week posted the biggest weekly drop since August 2007 on concern the U.S. bank bailout will fail to stimulate demand for the region’s exports.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 2.8 percent to 10,636.18. J.Front Retailing Co. dropped 1.6 percent after the Nikkei newspaper said the department store operator may miss its profit forecast.

The U.S. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 9.4 percent last week, the most since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, as concern that tightening credit markets will extend an economic slowdown. S&P 500 futures fell 1.6 percent today.

Job Losses

U.S. President George W. Bush signed the rescue package into law to stem the crisis, which has claimed financial companies including Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The legislation enables the government to purchase non-performing assets from institutions and suspend an accounting rule requiring businesses to report losses if asset values fall.

U.S. payrolls dropped 159,000 last month, the most in five years, the Labor Department said on Oct. 3. The world’s largest economy has lost 760,000 jobs this year, compared with the 1.1 million created last year.

Crude oil fell for a fourth day in New York, dropping as much as 2.4 percent to $91.60 a barrel, on signs slowing global economic growth will reduce demand. Oil was recently trading at $91.76.

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