Asian markets fall after Kim Jong-il death

Stock markets across Asia have fallen after news of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il renewed fears of political instability in the region.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 1.3% at 8,296 after North Korean state media said overnight that Kim had died of a heart attack caused by overwork.

South Korean shares fell 3.4%, having earlier been down as much as 5%, and its currency, the won, dropped 2%. The MSCI Asia ex Japan fell by more than 2%.

Japan’s minister of finance Jun Azumi said he had told officials to watch for the economic impact of Kim’s death.

Lingering fears of downgrades for major eurozone sovereigns pushed the euro down to $1.2985, with European markets set to open lower.

European leaders will today hold a conference call in Brussels to discuss the approval of €200bn in extra funding via the IMF.

 

This article was first published on Investment Week

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