Asian companies feel West weaknesses

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Portraying the old phrase of after storm always comes the sun, the FashionUnited Top 100 Index closed up by 2.05 points Thursday, throwing a little ray of hope after a chaotic week for markets. The international fashion index ended up the session hitting the s 1214.95.

By the end of the day, European markets were mixed with British FTSE index up 5.63 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 5,012.79. France's CAC fell 45.13 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 2,957.86. In Germany, the DAX rose 11.01 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,624.43.

Despite the improvement, concerns over the health of French banks have renewed fears that a full blown European financial crisis and recession will soon drag down economies in Asia. It should be taken into account that French banks alone have more than $100 billion in loans to east Asia's biggest economies not including Japan, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements and compiled by Nomura. Combined, the euro-zone provides more than $350 billion, or nearly half of all foreign banks funding outstanding in the region.

Some Asian companies represented in the FU Top 100 are already suffering the contagious from troubled European markets. It was the case of Bombay Rayon Fashions Limited, which lost over 5%, Hong-Kong based Esprit with a fall of 2% or Chinese Li Ning, that saw its shares value cut by 1%. Economist Cyn Young Park from the Asian Development Bank in Manila, says these are uncertain times for Asian investors as well those in the West. News of U.S. credit rating downgrade highlighted their concerns about the sluggish economies in their primary export markets. She says the volatile swing in stock prices in Asia and an increased demand for gold are temporary moves by investors to play it safe, for now.


Elsewhere, Fossil became one of the stocks under the light this week as between Jan.1 and July 19, its shares rose nearly 85%; between July 19 and Aug. 9, it dropped 39%. On Wednesday, it had recovered 3.82% to close at $85.29.

Angela González-Rodríguez

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