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Asian markets slide over Greek vote

03. November 2011. | 07:39

Source: Newsnow/Moneymorning.com

Asian markets fell as a European deal to bail Greece out of a massive financial mess appeared to be on the verge of unravelling.

Asian markets fell as a European deal to bail Greece out of a massive financial mess appeared to be on the verge of unravelling.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.2% to 19,301.50, South Korea's Kospi lost 1.3% to 1,872.87 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 lost 0.7% to 4,155.10.

Japanese markets were closed for a national holiday.

Greece's prime minister unexpectedly announced that he would call a national vote on the European bailout plan that entails painful tax increases and drastic welfare cuts in exchange for massive aid to keep his debt-ridden nation solvent.

The vote will probably take place on December 4 - unless the government of prime minister George Papandreou falls beforehand.

"Ahead of the vote markets will remain highly nervous and risk aversion will remain elevated. Consequently risk assets are set to face further pressure," Credit Agricole CIB said in a research note.

Should Greek voters reject the austerity plan, it could lead to a messy default on the country's debt that would probably cause massive losses for banks that hold Greek bonds - and possibly spark a wider financial crisis that could send the European Union into recession.

Mr Papandreou is scheduled to explain his stance when he meets with leaders of the Group of 20 nations at a summit in France on Thursday and Friday.

In the US, Wall Street ended higher after an increase in hiring by private companies helped lift stock prices.


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