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Jun 15, 2015 11:50 PM

Asian stock markets sag as jitters mount over Greece

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) Asian stocks markets sagged Tuesday as global jitters mounted over whether Greece and its creditors can reach a bailout agreement.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 0.6 percent to 20,260.00 and South Korea's Kospi lost 1.2 percent to 2,017.05. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 26,738.76. Other Asian benchmarks, including Taiwan and Singapore, were also lower.

GREECE WORRIES: Global markets are getting shaken by Greece after weekend negotiations between the country and its creditors failed to get the struggling nation closer to a bailout deal. Greek leaders want to get access to the final 7.2 billion euros ($8.2 billion) of their bailout program that's needed to pay debt and avoid a possible default that could trigger an exit from the euro; the bailout package expires at the end of the month.

THE QUOTE: "The worry lies in the possibility that the credibility of the EU may have suffered substantially, should Greece be allowed to go into cardiac arrest," Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a commentary. The issue could also spread to other "vulnerable EU countries such as Spain and Portugal to consider whether staying in EU is right for them," he said.

BANK OF JAPAN: Markets were watching for signals from Japan's central bank, whose policies have sent the yen lower, working to help the nation's giant exporters such as Toyota and Sony. Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda's comments in Japan's parliament in the morning appeared to counter remarks he made last week that the yen wouldn't continue falling.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 107.67 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,791.17 on Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 9.68 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,084.43. The Nasdaq composite lost 21.13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,029.97

CURRENCIES: The dollar continued to hold up after Kuroda's comments, trading at 123.54 yen, up slightly from 123.52 yen. The euro rose to $1.1274 from $1.1247.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil recoupled earlier losses, adding 55 cents to $60.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract hit a high for the year last Wednesday. Brent crude rose 30 cents to $64.25 a barrel.


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