Asian stocks down for 2nd session on Greece woes
Asian markets retreated Tuesday for a second straight session, tracking a global sell-off as Greece struggle s to find a compromise with its creditors, fueling fears of a default and exit from the eurozone.
Despite increasing worries about Athens’ future, the euro managed to tick up against the dollar and yen as traders await the outcome of policy meetings at the U.S. Federal Reserve and Japanese central bank.
Tokyo lost 0.64 percent, or 129.85 points, to close at 20,257.94 and Sydney ended marginally lower, dipping 2.97 points to 5,535.8. Seoul fell 0.67 percent, or 13.60 points, to close at 2,028.72.
Shanghai tumbled 3.47 percent, or 175.56 points, to 4,887.43 on liquidity concerns as 25 firms launch initial public offerings, which drain funds from the market.
Hong Kong ended 1.10 percent lower, giving up 295.11 points to 26,566.70.
After the collapse of talks at the weekend, both sides in the longrunning Greek crisis were locked in a stalemate Monday, blaming each other for the impasse.
The European Union insisted the EU-IMF creditors had made “major concessions” but the anti-austerity government in Athens continues to reject what it views as “irrational” demands.
Greece must agree a deal by the end of the month, when it is due to make a huge debt repayment. Otherwise it faces a default that could lead to it plunging out of the eurozone.
U.S. and European shares slipped Monday. The Dow fell 0.60 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.46 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.42 percent.
In Europe, Greece’s Athex dived 4.68 percent while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 lost 1.89 percent, London’s FTSE 100 shed 1.10 percent and the Paris CAC-40 dropped 1.75 percent.
However, while the specter of an exit looms large, the euro remains fairly buoyant, with analysts saying dealers are still confident a deal will be reached eventually.
“All week it will be about Greece and the Fed,” Stan Shamu, a market strategist in Melbourne at IG Ltd, told Bloomberg News.
“We might start to see the Fed getting a little bit more upbeat and that could cause some volatility,” he said.
“Most traders want to be cautious first and react after what happens towards the back end of the week with Greece. For now there will continue to be that element of caution in the market.”
The Fed on Wednesday completes its latest policy meeting, with investors hoping for some new guidance on its plans for interest rates following a broadly upbeat series of U.S. economic data in recent weeks.
And on Friday the Bank of Japan concludes its own meeting, which will be pored over to see if and when it will expand its already massive monetary easing program to kickstart sluggish growth and inflation.
Gold fetched US$1,184.20 compared with US$1,175.37 late Monday. In other markets: — Mumbai rose 0.38 percent, or 99.96 points, to end at 26,686.51.
Tata Power rose 2.57 percent to 73.95 rupees, while miner Vedanta Limited fell 1.46 percent to 178.60 rupees.
— Jakarta ended up 0.72 percent, or 34.81 points, at 4,872.60.
Palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari gained 1.89 percent to close at 22,900 rupiah, while taxi operator Blue Bird Tbk fell 1.25 percent to 7,900 rupiah.
— Malaysia’s key stock index finished 0.005 percent, or 0.08 points higher, at 1,722.24 points.
AMMB Holdings climbed up 0.49 percent to end at 6.15 ringgit and Telekom Malaysia lost 1.03 percent to 6.72 ringgit. Astro Malaysia Holdings rose 0.67 percent to 3.01 ringgit.
— Bangkok closed flat, edging up 0.09 percent, or 1.39 points, to close at 1,503.28.
Coal producer Banpu slipped 0.96 percent, or 0.25 baht, to 25.75 while Airports of Thailand rose 1.29 percent, or 4.00 baht, to close at 313.00 baht.
— Singapore closed down 0.75 percent, or 25.04 points, at 3,298.09.
DBS Bank was down 1.01 percent at SG$20.54.
— Wellington eased 0.10 percent, or 6.04 points, to 5,813.93.
Fletcher Building was down 1.06 percent at NZ$8.37 and Chorus slipped 0.33 percent to NZ$3.02.
— Manila added 0.66 percent, or 49.32 points, to end at 7,505.48.
Universal Robina Corp. gained 1.11 percent to 182 pesos while GT Capital Holdings rose 1.33 percent to 1,373 pesos.