and actually, this just came off the wire:
Asian Stocks Decline to One-Month Low on U.S. Housing Concerns
By Chen Shiyin and Patrick Rial
(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell, extending a $2.1 trillion rout in global shares, after U.S. housing investment slumped last week and Japan's government suffered an election defeat.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest automaker by market value, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the biggest contract manufacturer, led declines by companies that rely on U.S. sales. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. slipped on concern the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's loss of its upper house majority will hold up legislation in Japan.
``This is not a very happy scenario for the LDP,'' said Yuuki Sakurai, who helps manage $32 billion at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo. ``We are going to see people buying bonds instead of equities because of subprime concerns.''
The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia Pacific Index lost 0.4 percent to 153.88 as of 12:10 p.m. in Tokyo, set for its lowest close since June 29. It dropped 3 percent on July 27.
China's CSI 300 Index was headed for a record high after China Life Insurance Co. said first-half profit probably more than doubled from a year ago. Benchmarks also rose in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. They fell elsewhere, with the Philippine Stock Exchange Index slumping 1.8 percent, the region's biggest drop. Thailand's market is closed for a holiday.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 1 percent to 17,111.17. Exporters such as Canon Inc. and Nintendo Co. added to the decline after the yen strengthened against the dollar, eroding the value of their overseas sales.
Fuji Electric Holdings Co. slumped after the industrial machinery maker cut its first-half net income forecast by 75 percent. Seiko Epson Corp. plummeted after the world's second- biggest maker of inkjet printers had its rating cut at Credit Suisse.
Toyota, Hon Hai
U.S. shares plunged on July 27 for a second day, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its worst weekly drop in five years. U.S. residential investment fell at an annual rate of 9.3 percent last quarter, after contracting by 16 percent in the previous three months, the Commerce Department said on July 27.
Consumer spending slowed to an annual 1.3 percent pace, from 3.7 percent in the first quarter, indicating the housing crisis has started to affect consumption habits. The report also showed the U.S. economy expanded by a faster-than-forecast 3.4 percent.
Toyota, which generated more than a third of its sales last year from North America, slid 1.4 percent to 7,160 yen. Hon Hai, which produces iPod music players for Apple Inc., declined 0.8 percent to NT$261.50. James Hardie Industries NV, the biggest supplier of home siding in the U.S., dropped 1.8 percent to A$7.57, extending a six-day, 13 percent slump.
``The housing-market problems may have a bigger-than-expected damping effect on the U.S. economy,'' said Kim Han Jin, vice president of Fides Investment Management in Seoul, which manages $1 billion in equities. ``People want to cut their holdings of riskier assets.''
Macquarie Bank Ltd., Australia's No. 1 investment bank, slid 1.9 percent to A$79.60 on concern the housing slump will end a global boom in takeovers and dent advisory fees. Cadbury Schweppes Plc last week became the first company to delay an acquisition because of ``extreme volatility'' in debt markets.
``Markets, after earnings, were driven by liquidity,'' said Roger Groebli, head of equity research at ABN Amro Private Banking in Singapore. ``Liquidity can disappear. The leveraged buyout market will definitely slow down.''
Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest lender, dropped 1.6 percent to 1.27 million yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., the third biggest, lost 1.8