Asian stocks mixed, but losses limited as worries over Europe’s debt crisis ease

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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TOKYO — Asian stock markets were mixed Friday but losses were limited on receding worries over Europe’s debt crisis after Spain — one of the region’s heavily indebted nations — successfully sold bonds. European shares gained.

Investors have been concerned that European nations would have trouble raising money due to worries about defaults but Spain’s bond offering, which drew solid demand, was a fillip for markets.

Oil prices, meanwhile, hovered below US$77 a barrel. The euro, lifted by Spain’s bond sale, was higher against the dollar.

In early European trading, benchmarks in France, Germany and Britain were up 0.4 per cent or more. Futures augured a mixed session on Wall Street with Dow futures off 0.7 per cent but S&P futures up 0.2 per cent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index edged down 4.38 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 9,995.02 and China’s Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.8 per cent to 2,513.22 ahead of Agricultural Bank of China’s record-breaking initial public offering. Taiwan’s index dropped 0.3 per cent.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2 per cent to 1,711.95 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent to 4,551.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 per cent to 20,286.71.

In New York Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average edged up 24.71 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 10,434.17 as easing worries over Europe’s fiscal crisis offset disappointing U.S. economic data.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 90.75 yen from 90.92 yen in New York late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.2394 from $1.2378 after earlier trading just under $1.2400 — the highest in three weeks.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was down 36 cents at $76.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Organizations: Agricultural Bank of China, Dow Jones industrial average, New York Mercantile Exchange

Geographic location: Europe, Spain, TOKYO New York France Germany Britain Japan China Taiwan South Korea Australia Hong Kong U.S.

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