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Asia Minute: Greek Crisis Provokes Different Responses on Asian Markets

~ezs / Flickr
~ezs / Flickr
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Financial markets around the world are keeping a close watch on developments in Greece. That includes the Asia Pacific—where certain markets appear more vulnerable than others. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Around the Asia Pacific, financial markets have not had a universal response to the crisis in Greece.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index started the week with its worst one-day loss in more than three years.  Traders say Greece was one factor, but a bigger one was the extreme market volatility in mainland China.  The Shanghai Composite finished Monday with a gain of more than 2-percent on the day…still off more than 25-percent over the past month…but up more than 80-percent in the past year…Tuesday’s open was another drop.

In Malaysia, the ringgit tumbled to its lowest level against the dollar since 1998—not because of Greece, but mainly due to a political scandal involving allegations of financial wrongdoing by the prime minister.  International markets that are liquid, easy for investors to enter and exit—generally take some daily dips on negative global financial news—as well as advances when a crisis of the day is at least delayed, if not resolved.

Japan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan have all moved down—and up—one or two percent in recent days, depending on the latest headlines about Greece.  Tuesday brought better opening numbers to much of the region, but some markets seem to be ignoring news from Greece.  India’s benchmark Index closed up nearly half a percent Monday...opened higher Tuesday… and has gained more than five-percent over the past month.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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