Markets rise after Greece asks for bailout
HONG KONG (AP) - Asian stock markets pushed higher yesterday after Greece requested a bailout to resolve the country’s worsening debt crisis.
Major markets were up by as much as two percent.
The dollar weakened against the euro and rose against the yen, while oil prices traded above $85 a barrel.
Greece formally asked to tap a bailout program arranged by other European nations and the International Monetary Fund Friday, hoping to secure more than $50 billion in loans to finance its swollen budget deficit. On Sunday, the country’s finance minister voiced confidence Greece would receive enough aid to avoid defaulting on its debt.
Global markets have been rattled by Greece’s debt troubles in recent months. But despite the increasing likelihood of a bailout, some analysts don’t expect the crisis - or the resulting market volatility- to end anytime soon.
"The bulls believe Greece will be rescued. They’re taking it as face value that Greece will be saved and the euro-zone will stay together," said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright
Securities in Hong Kong. "But then tomorrow they will discover another hole and we’ll go back to worrying. I think this could be a long-running soap opera."
Japan’s main benchmark gained 234.38 points, or 2.2 percent, to 11,137.42 as the yen declined against the dollar, helping the country’s car manufacturers and other export companies. Toyota was up 3.4 percent, while Honda rose 3 percent. Canon, which often serves as a bellwether for export stocks, added 3.5 percent.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s market rose 1.7 percent to 21,606.02 and South Korea’s market gained 1.1 percent to 1,755.71.
Markets in Shanghai, Taiwan, India and Singapore also rose.
The gains in Asia followed rises on Wall Street, where the Dow
Jones industrial average ended up 0.6 percent at 11,204.28. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.7 percent to 1,217.28. Stocks in the U.S. were boosted by a positive report on new home sales. Some investors are still expecting a retreat after the recent run of gains, and Greece’s debt issues remain a concern after the country opted to use a bailout programme.