Asian markets tumble as Wall Street dives on bailout fears

HONG KONG, October 3, 2008 (AFP) – Stocks continued to tumble across Asia Friday on the back of heavy losses on Wall Street and amid concern over the fate of the multi-billion-dollar bailout deal for the US financial system.

The House of Representatives in Washington was set to vote later in the day on a revised plan to spend 700 billion dollars on a rescue package that the government hopes will ease pressure on the economy.

Despite being resoundingly passed by the Senate on Wednesday night, investors are still worried that the House will reject it — as it did on Monday, sending world markets into a tailspin.

With Seoul and Shanghai closed for public holidays, most of Asia’s major bourses were down. Tokyo slid two percent at close, Hong Kong was down 2.1 percent at noon and Sydney finished 1.4 percent lower, while Singapore was off by 2.3 percent.

Taipei shed clawed back earlier losses to post a 0.7 percent gain on bargain-hunting.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved to boost confidence that the bailout bill would get the green light, but there were lingering doubts about its eventual impact.

“Despite the fact that it passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, its passage isn’t guaranteed in the Hous