Market Report – Financial Jitters Hit Asia

ZHANG:
Asian shares touched multi-month lows Monday on financial sector jitters. Markets reacted little to promises of greater oil supply.

Saudi Arabia said it was ready to increase output, though Middle East tensions weighed on the oil market.

Financial sector woes hit Asia again, as the Wall Street Journal reported that Citigroup is set to slash about 6,500 investment banking jobs starting today, after a .1 billion loss last quarter.

Japan’s Nikkei declined with leading banks like Mizuho Financial lower, but like many markets, the Nikkei managed to regain some of the losses before the close.

Seoul shares hit a 12-week low. Memory chip makers Samsung Electronics declined after a brokerage downgrade of Sandisk, a top flash memory storage card provider.

Australia’s benchmark eased slightly as financials like ANZ declined on renewed credit market concerns.

Shanghai stocks fell after the central bank warned of a possible tightening in monetary policy to fight inflation after last week’s hike in domestic fuel prices.