Stocks fall amid Greece uncertainty

Asian stocks fell after a failure by Greece’s political leaders to form a coalition government set the stage for new elections next month, keeping Europe’s debt crisis centrestage.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.8% to 8,831.04 as investors remained focused on the turmoil in Greece.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.3% to 1,874.82 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.8% to 4,190.20 amid sliding commodities prices.

Newly elected Greek leaders – hotly divided over how to resolve the country’s economic crisis – failed to form a new government. That means new elections must be held in June.

Traders fear a win by parties that oppose highly controversial austerity measures necessary for Greece to qualify for urgently needed bailout money. Without the money, the country would likely default on its debt and leave the euro common currency.

“The Greek crisis will continue to frustrate markets, keeping sentiment under pressure,” analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong wrote in an email.

Europe’s latest political impasse cast a gloom over financial markets. The euro plunged, and the Dow Jones industrial average extended a slide that has wiped out nearly 5% of its value in two weeks.

The Dow closed down 0.5% at 12,632. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished down 0.6% at 1,330.66. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.3% to 2,893.76.

More in this Section

Serviced-office firm Iconic sees half of office workers returning by summerServiced-office firm Iconic sees half of office workers returning by summer

'Heartening to see' 30 jobs saved as High Court approves survival scheme for catering supplier'Heartening to see' 30 jobs saved as High Court approves survival scheme for catering supplier

Airlines handed £1.8 billion in emergency coronavirus loans from Bank of EnglandAirlines handed £1.8 billion in emergency coronavirus loans from Bank of England

Kerry company Fexco plans to cut at least 150 staff due to coronavirusKerry company Fexco plans to cut at least 150 staff due to coronavirus


Lifestyle

Paula Burns talks to five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend. Born out of necessity, with a whole lot of invention - it's the couture face mask.Face masks: Five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend

Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Are we supposed to envy the gowls in Normal People?

Harpers from Cork and beyond have been making the most of online interaction, and a 240-strong ensemble will perform O’Carolan’s ‘Fanny Power’ this weekend, writes Pet O’Connell.Harps for Hope makes online connections to form 240-strong ensemble

A revamp of Disco Pigs may be on hold, but Corcadorca have developed a new socially-distant work for the residents of various housing estates around Cork, writes Marjorie Brennan.Disco Pigs on hold but Corcadorca to go live for Cork Midsummer

More From The Irish Examiner