Euro­pean stocks slide as Greek wor­ries persist

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Europe’s main stock mar­kets fell fur­ther on Fri­day as in­vestor wor­ries in­ten­si­fied over the plight of Greece, an­a­lysts said.

In late morn­ing deals, Lon­don’s FTSE 100 in­dex dropped 0.42 per­cent to 7,030.40 points.

In Paris, the bench­mark CAC-40 in­dex shed 1.58 per­cent to 5,142.10 points and Frank­furt’s DAX 30 slid 1.80 per­cent to 11,783 com­pared with Thurs­day’s close.

“Lon­don’s FTSE 100 has kicked off the fi­nal ses­sion of the week in a rather muted tone,” said Trust­net an­a­lyst Tony Cross.

“There’s still that over­hang­ing fear that we could be near­ing an endgame as far as Greece is con­cerned.”

The re­gion’s ma­jor in­dices had also slid Thurs­day on jit­ters over Greece, while Lon­don in­vestors took prof­its from a record-break­ing run.

Greece Re­mains in Spot­light

“An­other day brings an­other story about Greece, and once again the in­abil­ity of the Greek fi­nance min­is­ter to em­ploy a light touch has spooked mar­kets,” said IG an­a­lyst Alas­tair McCaig.

“Bond mar­kets, nor­mally im­mune to the volatil­ity that eq­ui­ties fre­quent, have seen Greek yields sky rocket as the chances of them de­fault­ing grow ever more likely.”

Vol­umes were lower than usual, an­a­lysts said, ow­ing to a global break­down of Bloomberg trad­ing ter­mi­nals.

The ter­mi­nals — used by sub­scribers to make trades us­ing real­time de­vel­op­ments in busi­ness and fi­nance — were struck by a “global net­work prob­lem,” the com­pany’s tech­ni­cal depart­ment said Fri­day.

“Bloomberg ... has been hit with tech­ni­cal is­sues this morn­ing and as a con­se­quence trad­ing vol­umes are a lit­tle lower,” added McCaig.

Mean­while, top Euro­pean of­fi­cials and Greece’s fi­nance min­is­ter were forced to play down fears that the coun­try was poised to exit the eu­ro­zone, af­ter the IMF re­jected sug­ges­tions that Athens would post­pone loan re­pay­ments.

Greek bond yields have soared to their high­est point since 2012 as con­cerns mounted that the coun­try would de­fault on bil­lions of dol­lars in debt and be forced to leave the euro area, an event which could shake global fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

“In re­cent weeks the at­ti­tude of EU and IMF cred­i­tors to­wards Greece ap­pears to have in­creas­ing hard­ened,” noted Rabobank an­a­lyst Jane Fo­ley.

“In the early days of the Syriza gov­ern­ment, Fi­nance Min­is­ter (Ya­nis) Varo­ufakis had hoped for some sym­pa­thy for its so­cial­ist ide­al­ism from the gov­ern­ments of France and Italy.

“This week French PM (Manuel) Valls re­buffed Greece’s po­si­tion by call­ing on its gov­ern­ment to quickly draw up a more thor­ough­go­ing list of re­forms. Ger­man at­ti­tudes have also tough­ened.”

Varo­ufakis has mean­while in­sisted Athens re­mains com­mit­ted to the euro area, de­spite ris­ing talk of a Greek exit or Grexit.

De­spite new wor­ries about Greece’s eu­ro­zone fu­ture, the euro man­aged to hold up, while the dollar dipped as the chances of a sum­mer U.S. in­ter­est rate hike eased on dis­ap­point­ing jobs and hous­ing data.

Hong Kong, Shang­hai Defy Asia

Slump on Stim­u­lus Hopes

Eq­ui­ties in Shang­hai ex­tended their rally Fri­day on hopes for new econ­omy-boost­ing mea­sures from China, but Hong Kong and most other Asian mar­kets re­treated fol­low­ing more weak U.S. data and losses on Wall Street.

The dollar lost ground as the chances of a sum­mer U.S. in­ter­est rate hike slimmed af­ter dis­ap­point­ing jobs and hous­ing fig­ures, while the euro man­aged to hold up de­spite new wor­ries about Greece’s eu­ro­zone fu­ture.

Shang­hai rose 2.20 per­cent, or 92.47 points, to 4,287.30 but Hong Kong slid 0.31 per­cent, or 86.59 points, to 27,653.12.

Tokyo tum­bled 1.17 per­cent, or 232.89 points, to close at 19,652.88, Syd­ney sank 1.28 per­cent, or 76.00 points, to 5,871.50 and Seoul added 0.17 per­cent, or 3.60 points, to 2,143.50.

A string of poor Chi­nese in­di­ca­tors have fu­elled a rally in Shang­hai’s bench­mark in­dex over the past year and now main­land in­vestors are turn­ing their at­ten­tion to Hong Kong, buy­ing what they con­sider cheap as­sets.

The south­ward flood of cash saw turnover in Hong Kong hit record highs twice last week as traders make the most of a link-up be­tween the city’s ex­change and the bourse in Shang­hai.

The Dow dipped 0.04 per­cent, the S&P 500 edged down 0.08 per­cent and the Nas­daq eased 0.06 per­cent.

Gold fetched US$1,205.91 against US$1,208.60 late Thurs­day. In other mar­kets: — Sin­ga­pore closed down 0.18 per­cent, or 6.42 points, to 3,525.19.

— Jakarta ended down 0.19 per­cent, or 10.09 points, at 5,410.64.

— Malaysia’s main in­dex lost 0.11 per­cent, or 2.08 points, to close at 1,845.86.

— Mumbai fell 0.78 per­cent, or 223.94 points, to 28,442.10.

— Thai stocks edged down 0.20 per­cent, or 3.15 points, to close at 1,566.85.

— Welling­ton fell 0.34 per­cent, or 20.28 points, to 5,861.48.

— Manila was flat, edg­ing down 1.31 per­cent to 7,946.89.

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