Asian stock markets mostly rise, shrug off Greek debt woes ahead of crisis meeting

By , on June 21, 2015


ShutterStock image
ShutterStock image

TOKYO — Stock markets were mostly higher in Asia on Monday as investors shrugged off the latest twist in Greece’s cash crunch crisis.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.0 per cent to 20,367.40 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent to 26,852.61. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 per cent to 2,056.17. Australia’s S&P ASX/200 recovered from early losses, edging 0.1 per cent higher to 5,601.60. Shares in Jakarta fell but other markets in Southeast Asia were higher. China’s financial markets were closed for a national holiday after a tumble Friday when the Shanghai Composite dived 6.4 per cent, taking it 13 per cent lower for the week after more than doubling in the past year.

GREEK CRISIS: Leaders of the eurozone were to hold an emergency summit early Monday seeking agreement between Athens and its international creditors on how to avoid a default and potentially disastrous Greek exit from the euro. Greece faces a June 30 deadline to make a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund, which it now is unable to make. With even bigger payments to the European Central Bank due in July, negotiators are awaiting details of a proposal from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to see if it would allow a breakthrough.

THE QUOTE: “While the question of whether Greece stays in the Euro looms as a significant event in economic history, potentially impacting the lives of many people, it seems the broader international markets have concluded that it’s a question that’s unlikely to have much relevance for them,” Ric Spooner, chief strategist for CMC Markets, said in a commentary.

WALL STREET: A rally that pushed a key index to a record high petered out on Friday. Despite the losses, the market still ended with its best week in nearly two months after getting a boost from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 11.48 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,109.76. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 99.89 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 18,015.95. The Nasdaq composite slid 15.95 points, or 0.3 per cent, closing at 5,117.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 3 cents to $59.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 84 cents to close at $59.61 a barrel in New York on Friday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, gained 6 cents to $63.08 a barrel after falling $1.24 to $63.02 a barrel on Friday.