World News Brief, Friday October 24

South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia continue market slide; Pakistan needs IMF rescue; US extends troop handover in Iraq; market interventions in South America; and more


Top of the Agenda: More Market Plunges

Equity markets in both Europe and Asia again moved downward today following steep declines in the United States yesterday that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge nearly 6 percent. MarketWatch surveys the damage in East Asia, where South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia continued a sharp downward slide. Japanese markets, which suffered the worst losses of any Asian country yesterday, rose slightly today. European markets followed Asia lower at their open, with major indices in Britain, France, and Germany losing 2-3 percent (IHT).

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) moved to make its first loan to an Asian country since the crisis began. IMF officials say Pakistan seeks a multi-billion dollar assistance package aimed at preventing a default (Dawn) on its international debt. Al-Jazeera reports a loan would likely be on the order of $4 billion.

In the United States, the Wall Street Journal reports the White House is mulling a $40 billion proposal aimed at helping borrowers who face mortgage foreclosure.


PACIFIC RIM: China Financial Response

China moved to cut both its benchmark interest rate and taxes (China Daily) in a move aimed at stemming an emerging Chinese housing sector slump.

South Korea: Yonhap reports that the South Korean currency, the won, fell to a new ten year low against the dollar in the midst of market upheaval.



Iraq handover continues as U.S. cedes authority in Babil province.
Market interventions lead to steep declines in Argentina, Brazil.

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