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Asian markets are skittish over China’s bank crackdown and Europe’s bank scares

Tim Fernholz

The Asian markets started the day queasily with bad news from all sides, mostly from banks, with the ShangHai composite down 2.14%, the Nikkei 225 down 1.28%, and the Hang Sen Index down .96%.  What’s going on?

  • Australia’s Nufarm, a major agricultural supplier, booked a 53% fall in profit. Droughts have dried up its sales. That sent its stock tumbling 14%; Australia’s All Ordinaries stock index is down .26%
  • Some people are blaming the poor showing of a US housing indicator. We’re not so sure. While pending home sales fell .4% in February, much of that was the decline in foreclosure and short sales; conventional sales continued to rise.

Not a great day—not that we believe in bad omens or anything.

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