Asian shares mostly off as Spain woes come into focusBy Danny McCord
HONG KONG—Asian markets mostly fell Tuesday as fears about Spain’s surging borrowing costs replaced the previous day’s optimism over Greece’s election, while G20 leaders struggled to soothe dealers’ nerves.
Tokyo tumbled 0.75 percent, or 65.15 points, to 8,655.87 and Sydney shed 0.33 percent, or 13.6 points, to 4,123.3 and Shanghai gave up 0.66 percent, or 15.26 points, to 2,300.80.
Hong Kong closed flat, dipping 11.14 points to 19,416.67, while Seoul was also almost unchanged, edging up just 0.06 points to 1,891.77.
Regional shares staged a strong rally on Monday after news that the two main Greek pro-austerity parties had garnered enough votes to form a government, beating groups that had promised to tear up a bailout deal with global lenders – a move many feared would lead to Greece leaving the euro.
However, the rally faded in Europe and the United States as traders’ attention moved to deepening troubles in Spain, where the yields on benchmark 10-year bonds rocketed to a euro-era record 7.13 percent.
Anything over 7.0 percent is considered unsustainable and is the point above which Ireland, Portugal and Greece were forced into asking for rescue packages.
Madrid’s woes come as it struggles to deal with a banking crisis as well as a miserable financial situation with soaring unemployment and a huge fiscal deficit.
Adding to the gloom, a report from Spain’s central bank said bad debts in the country hit their highest level in 18 years in April, sparking concerns a 100-billion-euro ($126 billion) bailout for its banks might not be enough.
“The eurozone situation is far from over amid worries over the financial health of Spanish banks as the amount of non-performing loans in hand mounts,” Rakuten Securities senior market analyst Masayuki Doshida told Dow Jones Newswires.
The euro was at $1.2580 and 99.30 yen, compared with $1.2571 and 99.45 yen in New York trade late on Monday. The single currency tumbled in New York after surging as high as $1.2727 in Asia earlier Monday.
The dollar eased to 78.91 yen from 79.11 yen.
Leaders of the 20 most developed and developing nations are holding a summit in Mexico that has been dominated by Europe’s long-running crisis.
The two-day meeting kicked off with the United States saying there had been a clear change in European thinking from austerity and toward more growth-friendly policies.
The Group of 20 said they “will act together to strengthen recovery and address financial market tensions,” according to a leaked draft communique.
“All G20 members will take the necessary actions to strengthen global growth and restore confidence,” it said.
But while US President Barack Obama was said to be “encouraged by what he heard” ahead of the talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not indicated she is about to abandon her hardline stance on austerity measures imposed on indebted eurozone members.
Also in Mexico the International Monetary Fund said it had raised $456 billion for a firewall, with China saying Monday it would stump up $43 billion and India and Russia saying earlier they would each kick in $10 billion.
Eyes are also on Washington, where the Federal Reserve will Wednesday wrap up a two-day policy meeting, with many dealers hoping for some form of fresh stimulus to kickstart the economy, which has been hit by Europe’s woes.
On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, fell 41 cents to $82.86 per barrel in the late afternoon while Brent North Sea crude for August delivery fell $1.21 to $94.84.
Gold was $1,630.77 an ounce at 1120 GMT, compared with $1,621.62 late Monday.
In other markets:
– Singapore climbed 0.64 percent, or 18.19 points, to 2,842.41.
Olam International gained 4.26 percent to 1.96 and United Overseas Bank added 1.38 percent to 18.35.
– Taipei closed 0.11 percent, or 8.37 points, lower at 7,273.13.
Smartphone maker HTC rose 3.9 percent to Tw$386.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 0.37 percent lower at Tw$80.5.
– Manila closed 0.62 percent higher, adding 31.20 points to 5,081.61.
Alliance Global Group rose 0.86 percent to 11.70 pesos but Calata Corp. bucked the trend to dive 12.36 percent to 10.78 pesos.
– Wellington added 0.70 percent, or 24.71 points, to 3,480.38.
Air New Zealand closed up 0.58 percent at NZ$0.87, Fletcher Building gained 0.16 percent to NZ$6.31 and Telecom was 1.81 percent higher at NZ$2.54.
– Kuala Lumpur gained 0.77 percent, or 12.25 points, to 1,594.98.
Plantation giant Sime Darby added 0.41 percent to 9.85 ringgit, while financial firm CIMB Group Holdings gained 0.53 percent to 7.55. Fajarbaru Builder Group lost 2.21 percent to 0.89 ringgit.
– Jakarta closed 0.54 percent, or 20.66 points, higher at 3,880.82.
Coal miner Adaro jumped 4.7 percent to 1,330 rupiah, gold and nickel miner Antam advanced 3.9 percent to 1,330 rupiah and Telkom gained 1.3 percent to 7,600 rupiah.
– Bangkok rose 0.83 percent, or 9.68 points, to 1,173.09.
PTT added 1.21 percent to 335 baht and Banpu gained 0.86 percent to 468 baht.
– Mumbai edged up 0.9 percent, or 157.97 points, to 16,859.80, regaining some of the losses made a day earlier on a surprise central bank decision to keep interest rates unchanged.
Reliance Industries, India’s largest private company, rose 2.6 percent to 737.25 rupees while software exporter Infosys fell 1.3 percent to 2,478.55 rupees.
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