Monday, May 17, 2010

Euro slip

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Asian stock markets tumbled Monday on investor concern the Europe debt crisis will worsen as the euro fell to a 4-year low.

Investors weren't convinced last week's $1 trillion bailout package will keep a sovereign debt crisis from spreading from Greece to other European countries.

In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel to be published Monday, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Europe's economy "is in its most difficult situation since World War II or perhaps even since World War I."

"The market is concerned that the euro could trigger another financial crisis," said Linus Yip, a strategist with First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. "I don't think that's likely, but that's the fear out there."

The euro fell to $1.2271 on Monday, the lowest since 2006, from $1.2352 on Friday.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average dropped 260.36 points, or 2.5 percent, to 10,202.15, while South Korea's Kospi lost 2.8 percent to 1,648.04 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index was down 2.6 percent at 4,491.30.

China's benchmark index in Shanghai tumbled 3.6 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 2.5 percent, India slid 2.3 percent and Thailand sank 2.8 percent.

Asian investors are concerned that cost-cutting fiscal measures being taken by Greece, Portugal and Spain could hamper a recovery in the eurozone economy and undermine export demand.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 162.79 points, or 1.5 percent, to 10,620.16.

In currencies, the dollar edged down to 91.88 yen in Tokyo from 92.30 yen in New York late Friday.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down $1.35 to $70.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract lost $2.79, almost 4 percent, to settle at $71.61 on Friday.

- Courtesy of Yahoo News

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