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AFP: Panic knocks Asia stocks and lifts gold
 
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Panic about how the U.S. and European governments have not yet found a solution to the plague sweeping through the global financial system hit Asian stocks again on Tuesday and lifted gold prices.

The South Korean won dropped 5.7 percent to the lowest in more than 7 years against the U.S. dollar as investors focussed on the country's relatively high level of debts, despite assurances from the government that Asia's fourth-largest economy was not facing a currency crisis.

The $700 billion (401.5 billion pound) U.S. rescue fund, ad hoc measures by European governments and massive injections of funds by central banks around the world have not been able to stop confidence in the financial system from evaporating or growing fears the global economy is on path to recession.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a 4-year low after dipping below 10,000 points for the first time since October 2004.

The fury with which global equity markets have sold off in recent weeks and the worsening condition of the financial system has made the upcoming Group of Seven rich nations meeting even more important. Investors have begun to anticipate some kind of cooperation among countries to solve the morasse.

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