Hong Kong: Asian stock markets slipped Friday as Greece’s spiraling debt crisis continued to cloud the outlook for the world economy.
Major markets fell less than 1%, while the euro resumed its slide. Oil prices lingered below $84 a barrel.
Investors were once again unnerved by Greece’s debt woes after the country’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services and new data showed its budget deficit last year was far bigger than expected. The news only increased the need for Greece to tap loans from 15 European countries and the International Monetary Fund.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index dropped 61.16 points, or 0.6%, to 10,887.93 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 173.91, or 0.8%, 21,281.03.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s market fell 0.3%, Shanghai’s main index shed 0.3% and Australia’s benchmark was down 0.5%.
In Thailand, stocks tumbled 1.5% after a series of grenade attacks late Thursday shook Bangkok amid an ongoing standoff between anti-government protesters and security forces.
In currencies, the euro continued to lose ground, falling to $1.3226 from $1.3287. The dollar was trading at 93.43 yen compared to 93.46 yen.
Oil prices were little changed in Asia, with the benchmark contract off 3 cents at $83.67 a barrel.
Overnight in the US, stocks recouped their losses after President Barack Obama’s speech on financial reform contained no unpleasant surprises.
The Dow rose 9.37, or 0.1%, to 11,134.29. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.73, or 0.2%, to 1,208.67, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 14.46, or 0.6%, to 2,519.07.