Regional stocks struggle back from plunge

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 July, 1996, 12:00am

For the third time in little more than a week, markets around the region followed overnight losses on Wall Street, plunging lower, but some bargain hunters saw an opportunity in the dust of Wall Street's fallout.

Singapore, which has followed the Dow closely in similar routs, ended nearly unchanged after recovering early losses of nearly 1 per cent.

Australia, Tokyo and Hong Kong were some of the hardest hit, but most of the bad news was out of the way within the first few minutes of trade. By the end of the day, things were not as bleak as they looked in the morning for many markets.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225-share average ended just about where it began - off 347.07 points, or 1.60 per cent, at 21.406.35.

The Australian All Ordinaries Index crumbled 2.17 per cent after a few investors hit the panic button.

Falling metal prices also weighed on the resource sector down under.

Taiwan traditionally has not followed the Dow, but the market was not spared this time around. Foreign selling sparked local worries, dragging the weighted index down 1.77 per cent to 5,955.5.

Thai stocks also were hurt by concern over upcoming earnings and fell 0.58 per cent, to 1181.05. Seoul stocks ended off 1.45 points, or 0.18 per cent, at a provisional 812.66, but sentiment improved towards the close on the belief that the bottom had been reached, brokers said.

Indonesian stocks fell 5.68 points, or 0.98 per cent, to 573.33, and Malaysian stocks lost 10.64 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 1,123.77.

New Zealand's NZSE-40 Capital Index ended off 1.38 per cent, at 2,061.27.

Manila's composite index fell 1.5 per cent to close at 3199.32 points after regaining some composure from an opening, Dow-inspired plunge.