In the wake of the Japanese agriculture minister's resignation, Asian markets stumbled today ahead of uncertain US economic data. For a change, analysts didn't point to the subprime crisis to account for the Nikkei's 0.5% slide: "After all, investors have got used to news on subprime issues," one equities trader told Reuters.
The unrest that plagued worldwide equities last month seems to have stabilized in expectation of the Fed and the ECB easing monetary policy, but the broader Asian markets still fell after a 4-day rally. The only bright spot was Australia, where a better-than-expected GDP report reflected what one fund manager called a "very, very robust" picture, Bloomberg reports. (Read more stocks stories.)