Asian stock markets were mostly lower Monday as a US pledge to loan troubled automakers $17.4 billion failed to ease worries about a deteriorating world economy.
The emergency help announced Friday for General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC came as a relief to many investors, staving off bankruptcies that would have only deepened the recession in the world's largest economy.
But concerns about the global outlook, as well as falling demand for the Asian-made products like cars and electronics that drive regional growth, continued to weigh on investors, analysts said. In Japan, figures showed a record 26.7 percent plunge in exports last month compared to a year ago.
"The big question about what's going to happen with the big US automakers has been settled for now," said D. Gorton, research analyst at Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong. "But investors are still wondering what's going to happen with the US and ... when the US economy is going to recover."