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The FTSE had fallen 92.9 points to 6307.3 at Noon today.

The FTSE had fallen 92.9 points to 6307.3 at Noon today.

Share prices dropped sharply Monday across Asia on heavy selling by investors spooked by the Nasdaq's plunge and by uncertainties over the U.S. presidential election.

Electronics, telecoms and other high-tech related shares were the hardest hit.

In Seoul, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, finished 4.6 percent lower, dropping 26.24 points to end at 538.94. SK Telecom shed 4.8 percent, Samsung Electronics lost 6.8 percent and Korea Telecom fell 5.5 percent.

Friday's sharp decline in the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index cast a broad shadow across Asia. The Nasdaq fell 5.3 percent to end the week at a new closing low of 3,028.99 for the year due to concerns over the delay in announcing the result of the U.S. presidential election.

In Taipei, the benchmark Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 295.22 points, or 4.84 percent, to close at 5,793.52 points amid concerns over Wall Street and domestic economic and political issues. On Friday, the index dipped 0.81 points to close at 6,088.74.

Yen Ching-chang, Taiwan's finance minister, also blamed Monday's plunge on political uncertainty surrounding President Chen Shui-bian, whose recent decision to abandon a U.S. dlrs 5.4 billion nuclear power project has prompted calls for his ouster.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Asia's largest market, the Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues closed at 14,664.64 points, down 323.90 points, or 2.2 percent. The index lost 71.51 points, or 0.5 percent, on Friday.

Apart from alarm over the Nasdaq's decline, domestic political worries surfaced after a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said he might back a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, raising the possibility of a political crisis that could threaten Japan's fragile economic recovery.

In Hong Kong, the blue-chip Hang Seng Index fell 573.70 points, or 3.7 percent, closing at 14,815.69. On Friday, the index lost 115.41 points, or 0.7 percent.

"Investors are worried that the U.S. (markets) may fall further tonight," said Kenny Tang, research director with Tung Tai Securities.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's port and telecom company Hutchison Whampao fell 3.4 percent to 98.75 Hong Kong dollars. The company announced late Friday that it won't bid for a third generation mobile license in either Poland or Switzerland.

Late Monday, the dollar bought 107.86 yen at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT), up 0.20 yen from late Friday in Tokyo and also above its late New York level of 107.72 yen on Friday.

Elsewhere:

MANILA: The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index ended down 33.01 points, or 2.2 percent, at 1455.94, pressured by the weak peso and weakness on Wall Street.

SINGAPORE: Share prices fell following Nasdaq's tumble last Friday. The Straits Times Index shed 48.23 points, or 2.43 percent, to 1,937.97.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares closed lower. The Composite Index, which tracks 100 key stocks, finished at 737.20 points, down 15.24 points, or 2 percent.

JAKARTA: Indonesian shares closed lower on continued selling in several blue chips amid concerns over growing calls for President Abdurrahman Wahid to step down. The Composite index fell 0.8 percent, or 3.306 points, to 423.664.

BANGKOK: Thai stocks fell in line with steep losses in regional markets. The Stock Exchange of Thailand index closed down 6.05 points, or 2 percent, to 287.18.

SYDNEY: The All Ordinaries Index fell 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3240.8 points on heavy selling of blue chips amid uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election and Australia's monetary policy.

WELLINGTON: The NZSE-40 Capital Index closed down 16.9 points, or 0.85 percent, at 1,971.45.

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