Market Commentary and Intraday News
Asia stocks down as traders await key euro events
253 days ago
By PAMELA SAMPSON
AP Business Writer
(AP:BANGKOK) Asian stock markets retreated Tuesday as investors sought safety ahead of critical events this week that will test Europe's willingness to unite in order to deal with a major debt crisis.
A German court is expected to rule Wednesday on a request for an injunction to prevent Germany from participating in a permanent rescue fund for euro countries struggling with their finances.
Greece's debt inspectors are also due to hold more meetings with the Greek government as they prepare their latest assessment of the country, which could determine its future in the euro currency.
Those two events have "turned investors cautious from the buoyant mood," said analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong in an email commentary.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to 8,796.98. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent to 19,722.83 and South Korea's Kopsi fell 0.1 percent to 1,922.12.
Stocks and the euro posted solid gains last week after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi outlined a new bond-buying program designed to ease the debt pressure on Italy and Spain.
Investors are also waiting for the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting later this week. Speculation has been rife that central bankers will opt for some type of stimulus measure to help the flagging economy.
On Wall Street, stocks slipped on troubling economic news from China and the U.S. on Monday. Auto sales growth in China slowed in August, and imports shrank unexpectedly. The Fed, meanwhile, said Americans cut back on credit card use in July for the second straight month as many remain cautious in the face of high unemployment and slow economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.4 percent to close at 13,254.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.6 percent to 1,429.08. The Nasdaq composite index fell 1 percent to 3,104.02.
Benchmark oil was down 23 cents to $96.31 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 12 cents to finish at $96.54 per barrel on Monday on the Nymex.
The euro rose to $1.2777 from $1.2769. The dollar fell to 78.19 yen from 78.28 yen.
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