Asia's Woes Send Dow Plunging

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NEW YORK: The Dow dropped sharply in the first hours of trading Friday and was down 167 points by mid-morning, although it began to rally by the early afternoon.

The plunge driven by more bad news out of Asia: South Korea’s markets dropped 5.1 percent following yesterday’s presidential election victory by Kim Dae-jung, who had previously indicated an intention to renegotiate the IMF bailout — although he quickly moved to assure the international banking community that he would do its bidding. Investors in Tokyo capped a gloomy week with a sell-off that drove the Nikkei down 5.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 3.2 percent.