Asian shares tumble as emerging market fears return

HONG KONG, January 27, 2014 (AFP) – Asian markets sank on Monday following the worst losses on Wall Street in seven months, with investors gripped by renewed fears over emerging economies days ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve policy meeting. Japan’s Nikkei, which was the best performer last year, continued its 2014 downtrend as the yen remained elevated against the dollar, while shares in developing countries also suffered selling pressure.

Tokyo tumbled 2.51 percent, or 385.83 points, to 15,005.73, Seoul fell 1.56 percent, or 30.22 points, to 1,910.34. In the afternoon Hong Kong lost 2.37 percent and Shanghai was 0.89 percent lower.

Taipei dipped 1.58 percent, or 135.74 points, to 8,462.57 and Wellington was down 0.41 percent, or 19.90 points, at 4,853.79.

In mid-afternoon trade Singapore fell 1.29 percent, Kuala Lumpur was 0.85 percent lower, Manila slipped 1.61 percent and Jakarta sank 2.90 percent.

Sydney was closed for a public holiday.

“Capital is fleeing equities generally,” said Hiroichi Nishi, SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities.

“For Japan, the combination of weaker US stocks, a weaker dollar, and heightened fears over a slowing of global economic growth will be enough to send stocks dow