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Markets Sink; Global Links

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May 14: Foreign investors, viewing the Thailand baht as overvalued, begin selling it, prompted by political instability, weakening growth, and high debt. The Philippine peso begins to slide as well. Thailand and Singapore work together to defend the baht. Philippines raises interest rates to defend the peso.

June 19: Thailand's finance minister resigns. Philippines raises rates again.

June 27: Thailand's central bank closes16 struggling finance companies.

July 2: Thai government abandons promises to keep the baht pegged to the US dollar. The baht falls 20 percent. The government asks the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid.

July 3: Philippine central bank raises interest rates to 24 percent to defend the peso as investors begin selling it after Thailand's problems.

July 8: Malaysia's central bank defends its ringgit, as the currency begins slipping.

July 11: The Philippines stops defending the peso, which falls 6.4 percent. Pressure spreads to Indonesia's rupiah.

July 18: The IMF extends $1.1 billion in emergency loans to the Philippines.

Aug. 5: Thailand unveils austerity plan and closes 48 more finance firms.

Aug. 6: Forest fires break out in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand and soon blanket Southeast Asia with a heavy smog, raising new questions about those governments' competence.

Aug. 11: IMF and Japan offer Thailand more than $16 billion in loans.

Aug. 13-14: Indonesian rupiah hits a new low. Central bank intervenes, then drops the rupiah's dollar peg. Rupiah falls up to 5 percent.

Sept. 4: Philippine peso falls 3 percent to a record low. Central bank intervenes.

Sept. 20: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir calls currency trading "immoral," says it should be outlawed.

Early October: Asian currencies plummet as much as 11 percent for the rupiah. Taiwan's dollar begins falling.

Oct. 16: Pakistan devalues its rupee, citing competitive pressure on exports.

Oct. 17: Indonesia seeks IMF aid. Malaysia proposes austerity measures. Taiwan abandons defense of its dollar.

Oct. 20-28: Hong Kong's stock market down more than one-third. The territory raises interest rates, from 7 percent to 150 percent, to defend its dollar.

Oct. 23: Australian dollar falls 11 percent.

Oct. 27: Dow Jones Industrial average drops 554 points (7 percent) to 7161.15, largest point drop ever.

Oct. 28: Dow rises 333 points, largest point gain ever.

Oct. 30: Brazil debt problems emerge.

Oct 31: Dow finishes the week at 7442.08, down 3.54 percent for the week, up 15.41 percent for the year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ends at 10,623.78, down 4.67 percent for the week and 21.02 percent for the year.

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