Asia markets slip on Greece vote, Shanghai volatile| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 27 January 2022 06:28 GMT

Asia markets slip on Greece vote, Shanghai volatile


(MENAFN- AFP) Asian equities fell Monday after Greece overwhelming rejected further austerity measures, pushing it closer to a eurozone exit, while Shanghai experienced another day of volatility as China introduced a raft of measures to shore up the slumping market

Despite growing concerns about Athens' place in the eurozone, the single currency rallied after Greece's combative Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis announced his shock resignation just hours after winning Sunday's referendum.

Tokyo fell 2.08 percent, or 427.67 points, to 20,112.12, Seoul shed 2.40 percent, or 50.48 points, to 2,053.93 and Sydney lost 1.11 percent, or 61.60 points, to 5,476.70.

Shanghai soared 7.82 percent at the open before sinking rapidly again -- losing almost one percent briefly in the afternoon. But it ended the day 2.41 percent higher, adding 89.00 points, to 3,775.91.

Hong Kong plunged 3.18 percent, or 827.83 points, to 25,236.28 -- wiping out a 0.70 percent rise in the opening minutes that came on the coat-tails of the mainland gains.

More than 60 percent of Greece's voters heeded the government's call to vote "No", brushing aside warnings from European leaders that it was effectively an in-out poll on the euro.

While the euro sank to $1.0963 in US electronic trade immediately after the poll, it recovered throughout Monday and ticked even higher after Varoufakis's announcement.

The combative Varoufakis -- who has been at the centre of Athens' high-profile debt negotiations for months -- clashed with Greece's creditors and refused to bow to their demands for tough austerity.

"Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my… 'absence' from its meetings," he wrote in a blog.

It was "an idea that the Prime Minister (Alexis Tsipras) judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the ministry of finance today".

- 'Grexit' chances increased -

The single currency was also at 135.45 yen compared with 134.91 yen in the US.

"There's nothing we can do now except lower our risk and wait," Ayako Sera, a strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Bloomberg News.

"The euro was created based on this great dream of a unified Europe, and if they withdraw from the euro then the whole system is going to come into question."

The dollar weakened to 122.52 yen from 123.05 yen on Friday.

A series of high-level meetings were hastily arranged across the continent, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande calling a European summit for Tuesday.

German and French finance ministers were set for talks in Warsaw Monday, while the Euro Working Group of top treasury officials will meet in Brussels.

And the ECB will consider a financial lifeline for Greek lenders, which have been closed under capital controls since last weekend.

Shinya Harui, currency analyst at Nomura Securities in Tokyo, said: "I personally think the chance (of the Greek exit) is very high, at around 70-80 percent."

Shanghai blasted out of the blocks after the government announced a series of measures at the weekend to back up the struggling mainland markets, which have lost about a third of their value since peaking on June 12.

On Sunday, Beijing said the central bank would provide liquidity through the state-backed China Securities Finance Co., which manages margin trading.

And market watchdog the China Securities Regulatory Commission said there would be no initial public offerings (IPOs) "in the near future".

On Saturday China's 21 largest brokerage firms said they would invest at least 120 billion yuan ($19.3 billion) in so-called "blue chip" exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The moves come after other actions last week failed to arrest steep declines.

However, Jimmy Zuo, a trader at Guosen Securities Co. in Shenzhen, said: "The market didn't buy into the measures and the downbeat mood is quite hard to change."

On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August plummeted $2.10 to $54.83 a barrel and Brent crude tumbled 75 cents to $59.57.

Gold fetched $1,167.50 compared with $1,168.43 late Thursday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei slipped 1.09 percent, or 102.27 points, to 9,255.96.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co closed 1.40 percent lower at Tw$140.5 while Cathay Financial Holding fell 1.72 percent to Tw$51.5.

-- Wellington was off 1.10 percent, or 64.28 points, at 5,776.62.

Fletcher Building was down 2.11 percent at NZ$7.90 and Warehouse Group was off 0.37 percent at NZ$2.70.

-- Manila fell 1.06 percent, or 80.15 points, to 7,455.15.

Metropolitan Bank lost 0.32 percent to 93.20 pesos, Universal Robina Corp. shed 0.62 percent to 192.60 pesos and SM Investments retreated 0.51 percent to 881.50 pesos.


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