European debt fears send Asian stocks down

| February 5, 2010 | 0 Comments
European debt fears send Asian stocks down

Debt concerns in Europe have resulted in heavy falls across Asian stock markets today with Japan’s Nikkei index fell nearly 3% and stock markets in Hong Kong, Korea and China experiencing heavy declines.

The Nikkei fell almost 300 points to 10,057.1 - its lowest level in two months. Hong Kong‘s Hang Seng Index lost 592.31 points to 19,749.33 in morning trading today - the first time in five months that it has dropped below the crucial 20,000 level.

Yesterday, the US Dow Jones index lost 2.6% and key European markets saw falls of over 2%.

Portugal’s stock markets lost almost 5% - the largest single day fall since November 2008 due to a slump in demand for Government bonds in the country.

Meanwhile, there have been concerns over the recovery of the euro zone and in particular Greece’s deteriorating fiscal situation.

Greece, which is the euro zone’s weakest economy, has the highest debt of the 16-member bloc. Currently, its public debt stands at €300 billion (£268 billion).

The European Commission met earlier this week to discuss Greece’s tough austerity measures which will see the economy tackle its spiralling debt.

The debt concerns hit the euro which fell 4 cents (or 0.3%) against the dollar to $1.3715 yesterday.

Meanwhile, there are also fears over US jobs data. Investors are anxiously awaiting today’s non-farm payroll figures for January.

In London, the FTSE 100 opened 18 points lower today.

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