Asia regains its composure after early morning rout

Asian markets pared heavy losses early in the day to close mixed as they digested conflicting US news.

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Asian markets pared heavy losses early in the day to close mixed, as they played catch-up to the US Congress' decision to reject a proposed bailout, but took hope from indications that Washington has not closed the door on the measure. The Nikkei in Japan, the first of the Asian markets to close, fared among the worst, ending 483 points down, or 4.12 per cent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong plunged to an intraday low of around six per cent, but recovered to end 0.76 per cent in the green. Traders said a late rally was fueled by bargain hunting and profit taking.

Singapore was virtually static, losing 0.1 per cent, a relief to traders after the previous days' New York inspired rout. European markets have shown signs of a recovery after their morning losses and the previousl day's steep sell-off. The London FTSE is currently up 18 points, or 0.4 per cent, while the German DAX market is posting a small loss of 0.45 per cent and the French CAC just a 0.65 decline.

The GCC markets are closed for the Eid holiday and will reopen on Sunday.