Asian stock markets bounce back but volatility continues
Asian stock markets have had a better day’s trading after Wednesday’s massive sell-off on the back of fears about the US economy and the sub-prime mortgage industry.
Late gains on Wall Street, and the falling value of the yen, also helped to calm shattered investors’ nerves, with Japan’s Nikkei index rising 1.1% on the day after a hefty 3% loss on Wednesday.
“These are jittery times for anyone with saving and investment portfolios,” said City analyst Colin Perry. “At the moment it’s one good day followed by one very bad day and that situation does not encourage calmness and objective analysis of what is really happening.”
He continued: “The economic conditions in the UK are good, and the recent CBI report on the overall situation here was overwhelmingly positive.
“But Asia is so dependent on US economic wellbeing that the slightest tremor, like concern over their mortgage companies, sends shock waves through the region which in turn affect us. It really is the old adage in practice: when America sneezes, everyone else catches a cold.”
Despite Perry’s optimism, a senior London share trader was not so sanguine. “We need to see the US mortgage sector sorted out and in a stable condition before the volatility settles,” he said.
“At the moment these are challenging times for the market and anyone with a saving and investment portfolio based on shares will be having a few sleepless nights that’s for sure.”