LIVE updates | Russia stocks mixed on Putin’s Kremlin plan

LIVE updates | Russia stocks mixed on Putin’s Kremlin plan

02.15 pm | Russian financial markets opened mixed Monday after prime minister Vladimir Putin’s dramatic announcement he would to run for the presidency next year.

Russia’s main MICEX index was up 0.75% while the smaller RTS exchange traded down 0.80% at noon.

The advances were led by energy stocks such as Gazprom and Rosneft while the declines followed in line with Europe’s debt worries and saw both Sberbank and VTB banks shed about 1.5%.

Putin’s announcement Saturday that he would be seeking to win back the president’s office he held between 2000 and 2008 in March elections removed the uncertainty about Russia’s future that has troubled the market for much of the year.

The plan would see President Dmitry Medvedev step down after just one term to become prime minister and form a new government focused on modernization and reform. (AFP)

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01 45 pm | Hong Kong: Hong Kong shares lost for a fourth-straight session on Monday, slumping to the lowest in more than two years, dragged down by Chinese financials and Hong Kong property stocks as turnover stayed above average for a third-straight session.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 1.48% at 17,407.8. The China Enterprises Index closed down 3.3% at 8,735.4.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.64% at 2,393.18, a 14-month low, dragged by financial names in A-share turnover that declined for a third-straight session. (Reuters)

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12.45 pm | Banks in spotlight as French stocks open down sharply

Paris: The French stock market opened down sharply Monday amid ongoing concern that Europe’s struggle to contain the Greek debt crisis has left the country’s banks dangerously exposed.

French banks carry large amounts of risky Greek and Italian debt and their shares fell faster than the market, which opened down 1.97%. BNP Paribas lost 3.99%, Credit Agricole 2.69% and Societe General 2.67%. (AFP)

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12:35 pm | London stocks dive 1.78% at open

French stocks open down almost 2%

German stocks open 1.31% lower

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12.05 pm | Singapore: European stock index futures fell on Monday, following a slump in Asian shares, and the euro slid amid scepticism that Europe’s latest efforts to contain its sovereign debt crisis can prevent it from wreaking more damage on the world economy.

A broad commodities rout continued, with precious metals, industrial metals and oil all in headlong retreat as investors rushed to take riskier bets off the table and preserve their capital. (Reuters)

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12.03 pm |Asian shares tumble as europe fears deepen

Hong Kong: Asian markets tumbled Monday and the euro was further pressured by nagging uncertainty over the eurozone as leaders of the debt-troubled region struggle to find a plan to solve the crisis.

The week got off to a poor start as investors were left unimpressed by a commitment at the weekend from G20 finance chiefs that they would take strong, co-ordinated action to avoid another global financial crisis.

And they are even more nervous as Europe heads into a crunch week that will be key to the future of the region.

Tokyo fell 2.17%, or 186.13 points, to 8,374.13, Seoul shed 2.64%, or 44.73 points, to 1,652.71 and Sydney ended 1.01%, or 39.3 points, off at 3,863.9.

In the afternoon Hong Kong fell 2.97% and Shanghai lost 1.54%.

Bangkok fell more than eight percent and Manila slumped 4.24%, or 164.74 points, to 3,721.22, its lowest close since September 2010. (AFP)

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11.45 am | Hong Kong gold price tumbles

HONG KONG: Gold tumbled below $1,600 an ounce in Hong Kong trade on Monday, despite ongoing concerns over the global economy, with dealers selling up on the back of a stronger dollar.

The precious metal sank to $1,575.80 by 0610 GMT, well down from the $1,731.18 it was sitting at around 0800 GMT on Friday.

Selling was stoked by news that exchange operator CME Group had raised the amount of money that must put up for collateral by dealers trading on the gold market.

Traders nervous about the crisis in the eurozone, where many analysts expect Greece to default on its loans, have decided to sell up as the dollar has rebounded against several global currencies to become a more attractive safe haven. (AFP)

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11.35 am | Tokyo stocks close down 2.17% at 30-month low

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks fell 2.17% on Monday to close at a 30-month low amid worries over the eurozone debt crisis and a slowdown in the global economy.

The euro’s fall to a fresh 10-year low against the yen also soured investor sentiment as a higher yen erodes earnings of Japanese exporters, an engine of the nation’s post-quake economic recovery.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 186.13 points to close at 8,374.13, the lowest finish since 1 April 2009. The Topix index of all first-section issues lost 15.69 points or 2.11% to 728.85.

“Some view the market as already starting to price in the possibility of a Greece (debt) default," Hisatsune Kobayashi, general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Yutaka Yoshii, general manager at Mito Securities, said: “We are not seeing any catalyst for a rebound. The level of risk aversion has gone up another notch." (AFP)