Asian markets slipped further on fears over the eurozone debt crisis yesterday as politicians in Greece struggled to form a coalition after pro-austerity parties were lashed in weekend elections.
Regional sentiment was also hit following another batch of data from China added to concerns of a slowdown in the world’s number two economy.
Tokyo stocks gave up early gains to end at a three-month low as investors scrabbled for fresh clues amid political turmoil in Greece. The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 56.34 points or 0.63 percent to 8,953.31, its lowest since mid-February.
Many market players were not yet willing to buy stocks aggressively, said Masayuki Doshida, Rakuten Securities senior market analyst.
Chinese shares closed down 0.63 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended down 15.25 points at 2394.98.
China’s industrial output slowed to 9.3 percent year-on-year in April, down from 11.9 percent in March, official data released yesterday showed.
The figure spooked investors who fear a slowdown in the world’s number two economy.
Seoul skidded 1.43 percent, or 27.80 points, to 1,917.13 and Sydney finished 0.24 percent lower, or 10.5 points, at 4,285.1.
Analysts also indicated that a US$2 billion loss for Wall Street banking giant JPMorgan in six weeks had weighed on sentiment in financial plays.
HONG KONG: Shares fell for a seventh straight session yesterday. The Hang Seng Index shed 1.30 percent, or 262.65 points, to 19,964.63.
“The day’s selloff was triggered by the weak euro and uninspiring data from China, as investors continue to switch their portfolio from risky assets to safe haven investments,” KGI Asia chief operating officer Ben Kwong said.
SINGAPORE: Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell yesterday on continued eurozone political turmoil and weak economic data from China that led investors to sell commodity-related shares.
In Singapore, the Straits Times Index closed down 0.70 percent, or 20.20 points, at 2,883.40.
Palm oil producer Wilmar International shed 3.04 percent to S$4.14.
KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended broadly lower yesterday in line with bearish regional markets as investors shied away from riskier markets due to external woes, dealers said.
At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 3.74 points lower at 1,584.32, pressured mainlyby losses in selected key heavyweights.
In other markets:
* Taipei fell 1.10 percent, or 82.64 points, to 7,401.37.
* Manila closed 0.65 percent, or 33.96 points, lower at 5,158.14.
* Jakarta closed 0.47 percent, or 19.49 points, lower at 4,114.14.
* Bangkok was flat, edging 0.36 points up to 1,191.01.
* Mumbai was down 127.07 points or 0.77 percent to 16,292.98 – its fourth straight day of losses and a near four-month-low.
EUROPE: Weak banks heaped pressure on European shares yesterday after a huge loss from JPMorgan and mounting concern over Spain’s lenders dealt investor confidence a sharp blow.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.4 percent at 1,014.57 by 1141 GMT, knocked by banks after JPMorgan Chase & Co said a failed hedging strategy cost it at least US$2 billion in trading losses.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.47 percent to 5,517.83 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 0.38 percent to 6,493.39 and in Paris the CAC 40 dropped 0.80 percent to 3,105.02.
AMERICA: Stocks closed lower after JPMorgan’s surprise $2 billion trading loss.
JPMorgan shares dropped more than 9 percent, pulling down other financial stocks with them. Most of the decline in the Dow Jones industrial average was because of JPMorgan.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 34 points to close at 12,820. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell almost five points to 1,353. The Nasdaq composite index, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, was up a fraction of a point at 2,934.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancers almost 3-to-2.
Financial stocks fell more than 1 percent. JPMorgan admitted to losing $2 billion in trades that it says were poorly thought out.
Tech shares were mixed. Intel rose 1.4 percent after it said it’s on track to meet sales expectations.
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