The Straits Times
Published on Nov 08, 2012

Asian markets hit by US 'fiscal cliff' fears


HONG KONG (AFP) - Fears the US economy is facing another huge economic crisis spurred a sell-off in Asian markets on Thursday as Barack Obama's re-election raised the spectre of another bitter stand-off in Washington.

Investors fear a deeply divided Congress will not be able to reach an agreement to avoid a so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year that many say will send the United States back into recession.

Eyes are also on Beijing, where the Communist Party has kicked off its 18th congress, which will see the beginning of a once-in-a-decade leadership change.

Tokyo tumbled 1.51 per cent, or 135.74 points, to 8,837.15, Sydney fell 0.72 per cent, or 32.7 points, to close at 4,483.8 and Seoul lost 1.33 per cent, shedding 25.83 points to 1,911.09.