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Asia stocks fall amid E.Z./U.S. debt worries; Nikkei down 0.32%

Stock Markets Nov 21, 2011 02:54AM ET
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Investing.com - Asian stock markets edged lower on Monday, as uncertainty remained over the handling of the debt crisis in the euro zone and an apparent failure by U.S. politicians to agree on deficit reduction weighed on sentiment.

During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.37%, Australia’s ASX/200 Index dipped 0.34%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.32%.

In Spain, the center-right opposition People's Party won a crushing election victory and was expected to push through drastic austerity measures to try shore up the country’s economy, although no further details were given on the measures in question.

Meanwhile, the U.S.’s deficit-cutting congressional supercommittee was expected to announce it has failed to reach agreement on at least USD1.2 trillion in federal budget savings.

In Japan, Honda Motor and Toyota Motor saw shares fall 0.62% and 2.57% respectively, leading losses among Japanese exporters after the Ministry of Finance said that shipments declined 3.7% in October from a year earlier.

Elpida Memory tumbled 7.27%, continuing its recent fall on investor concerns about weak demand and low prices for DRAM chips.

Meanwhile, Olympus surged 16% as speculators rushed to buy shares of the troubled company even as long-term holders have cut their stakes and the firm’s outlook remains far from clear. 

Australia’s Quantas saw shares drop 1.47% after talks with its pilots, baggage handlers and caterers broke down. The sides will now have to accept a settlement imposed by Australia’s industrial umpire, which could help the airline in its bid to slash costs.

Elsewhere, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest lender by market value, tumbled 2.70% after the official Xinhua News Agency reported Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said the global economic situation is “extremely severe.”

Coal producers were also weak as shares in China Shenhua Energy plummeted 1.61%, while smaller rival China Coal Energy dropped 1.33%.

Meanwhile, the outlook for European stock markets was downbeat. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a loss of 0.27%, France’s CAC 40 futures shed 0.44%, the FTSE 100 futures dropped 1.11%, while Germany's DAX futures indicated a fall of 0.85%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release industry data on existing home sales.

Asia stocks fall amid E.Z./U.S. debt worries; Nikkei down 0.32%
 

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