Asian Shares Mostly Down On Greek Woes

Posted By on June 17, 2011

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)–Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday, as sentiment remained fragile due to continued concerns over Greek debt woes, while Woodside Petroleum fell in Sydney due to a delay and cost overruns in a major project.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was off 0.6%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.3%, South Korea’s Kospi Composite was 1.8% lower, China’s Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.3% and India’s Sensex was 0.3% lower.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down two points in screen trade.

“A (potential) Greek default is understood to increase the risk of Portuguese and Irish default. The firewall that has thus far protected Spain will come under attack. Italy may not be that far behind,” said Marc Chandler, Global Head of Currency Strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in a note to clients.

While euro-zone policy makers continue to work out plan to resolve Greece’s debt crisis, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will seek a vote of confidence in his new government once he unveils a cabinet reshuffle later Friday or in coming days. If Papandreou loses support, concerns will likely grow that Greece may not be able to make coupon payments for its debt in coming months, said Kenichiro Ikezawa fund manager at Daiwa SB Investments.

Shares in Australia reversed morning gains due to forced selling related to margin calls. […read more]