Markets Hit as Dubai Teeters

Are the good days over in Dubai? On Wednesday, the government announced a debt standstill at its flagship holding company, Dubai World, whose troubled property unit Nakheel asked for an extension to May 30 on a December 14 deadline for $4 billion debt. Consequently on Friday, Asian and European markets took a hit. Japan had its biggest one-day decline in eight months, and Australia and South Korea's markets also plunged. On Friday, the Dow finished almost 155 points lower, after closing at a 13-month high on Wednesday. “The way Dubai has gone about its financial business has hugely damaged its standing,” writes the Financial Times. “Bankers and investors are furious, feeling they were led on the wrong path.” But some analysts said the declines were exaggerated by light trading over the holiday.