- Title: VARIOUS: Asia markets open down amid Greek crisis
- Date: 8th May 2010
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (MAY 7, 2010) (REUTERS) TOKYO STOCK EXCHANGE (TSE) BUILDING CIRCULAR STOCK INFORMATION TOWER TSE OFFICE AREA VARIOUS OF TSE OFFICIALS WORKING ELECTRONIC STOCK BOARD ELECTRONIC STOCK BOARD SHOWING NIKKEI 225 AVERAGE AT 10,282.51, DOWN 411.87 VARIOUS OF STOCK PRICES ON ELECTRIC BOARDS
- Embargoed: 23rd May 2010 21:34
- Topics: International Relations,Finance
- Reuters ID: LVACJDT4TULHBFLXVF12W0ONBXLX
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Japan's Nikkei average fell more than 4 percent to a two-month low on Friday (May 7) with exporters battered after U.S. stocks plunged as much as 9 percent as a wave of selling triggered by Europe's debt crisis gathered speed.
U.S. stock exchange officials were investigating whether erroneous trades caused a sudden slump in share prices that wiped nearly $1 trillion off U.S. equity values at the peak of the sell-off before prices clawed back some of their losses.
The benchmark Nikkei fell as much as 4.1 percent at one stage to 10,257.32, its lowest since early March and below the 200-day moving average of around 10,300. By the midday break, it was down 3.7 percent at 10,295.63.
The broader Topix shed 3.3 percent to 925.53.
Since investors returned to the Japanese market following a string of holidays on May 3-5, the Nikkei has lost about 7 percent.
The European Central Bank did not discuss the outright purchase of European sovereign debt at a meeting on Thursday (May 07) but instead gave verbal support to Greece's savings plan, disappointing some investors.
"I'm very concerned about the Greek situation. I believe our government should take proper steps to deal with this issue," said Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama.
Worries about a stronger yen also hurt shares of exporters as the stronger currency will curb Japanese exporters' profits when repatriated.
The euro was around 116 yen in Asia trade, after shedding around 10 yen at one point the previous day.
Seoul shares opened 3 percent lower, with banks like KB Financial leading declines.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 3.36 percent at 1,628.03 points as of 0005 GMT.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down by 0.7% towards the end of the morning trading session, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was flat at 11440.25.
Market heavyweight and Europe's biggest lender HSBC was down by more than 4 percent.
At early trade in Sydney stocks fell 3 percent but crawled back to just above 2 percent on Friday to touch an eight month low, amid a global flight from risky assets as investors panicked about a spread of Greece's sovereign debt woes to other euro zone nations.
After five straight sessions of losses, Australian shares have lost 6.5 percent this week and are down 10.5 percent from the April 15 high.
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