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    Dec 2009


    Default Asian stocks fluctuate amid Europe fears

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    Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 per cent to 9,065.73 after opening lower. South Korea’s Kospi also opened lower before settling flat at 1,950.03. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up less than 0.1 per cent at 20,341.49.

    But Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4 per cent to 4,292.40 and benchmarks in mainland China and Taiwan also rose.

    “The Eurozone crisis remains in the spotlight, keeping sentiment under pressure,” strategists at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong wrote in a note to clients.

    World markets have been roiled this week by political instability in Europe. Greece has been left without a government since elections on Sunday, adding to growing worries that it will drop out of the euro currency union or be forced out.

    The turmoil shook markets in Spain, where the interest rate that the government must pay on benchmark 10-year bonds rose to an uncomfortably high level of 6.06 percent. Rates of above 7 per cent are seen as unsustainable, and forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to ask for bailouts.
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