World Economy

Three Asia Markets Still Down

Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.6%.Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.6%.

Three stock markets have never returned to the peaks they achieved in the years before the Asian financial crisis triggered a region-wide selloff two decades ago.

Japan’s Topix Index reached a record high in dollar terms in December 1989. On Tuesday, it was trading 29% lower. Thailand’s SET and Taiwan’s TWSE make up the trio of gauges that have failed to regain past glories since the 1997 crisis, Bloomberg reported.

One market that has performed well is South Korea. The Kospi Index soared above its pre-crisis peak in 2006 and reached a new high the following year. Despite ongoing tension between the country and its neighbor North Korea, stocks continued to prosper, and reached a 10-year high on June 30.

The crisis had its origins in Asian economies that maintained pegged exchange rates and failed to control swelling private-sector dollar debt. When Thailand wasn’t able to maintain its currency fix and devalued, it set off an exodus of capital from the region, tipping nations into economic and in some cases political crises.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, India’s S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50, Indonesia’s JCI Composite, the Philippines’ PSEi and Malaysia’s KLCI are among other indexes that have topped their peaks since 1997.

 Asia Stocks Rebound

Asian stocks climbed on Wednesday as demand for haven assets ebbed even while geopolitical concerns remained in the wake of North Korea’s missile launch. European shares edged lower.

Japanese and Hong Kong equities reversed early declines as automakers and technology companies rose and the yen erased gains. Gold stayed higher.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.4% in London, with tech shares contributing the most to gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.3%, retreating for a second day after surging 1.1% on Monday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4% after soaring 1.8% Tuesday, the most since Nov. 10.

Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.6%, erasing an earlier loss, with Subaru Corp. rallying 3.7% and Toyota Motor Corp. jumping 1.6%. South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.3%, with Samsung Electronics Co. increasing 1.2%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.3% as Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. rebounded 2%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8%.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index were flat. The gauge rose 0.2% Monday in a shortened session before the July 4 holiday.

Gold advanced 0.2% to $1,225.59 an ounce, paring an earlier gain of 0.5%.

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