World Economy

Asian Shares Down

Asian Shares DownAsian Shares Down

Asian shares were down on Tuesday as investors continued to worry about a Greek debt default and the timing of a US interest rate rise.

Fears of a Greek debt default continued to weigh on markets as the country’s bailout program is due to expire at the end of June with no deal in place, BBC reported.

Meanwhile, expectations are growing of a US interest rate hike in September after an upbeat jobs report last week.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 1.8% at 20,096.30 on a firmer yen.

The US dollar was lower after media reports that US President Barack Obama had told the G7 summit in Germany that the strong dollar “posed a problem”.

The dollar was at 124.54 yen, well below the 125.52 yen mark in Tokyo on Monday.

Chinese shares headed lower despite inflation data for May being in line with expectations. Consumer prices rose 1.2% from the previous year, compared with forecasts of 1.3%, while producer prices fell 4.6% against expectations of a 4.5% decline.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed down 1.2% at 26,989.52 - its lowest close since early April - while the Shanghai Composite closed down 0.36% at 5,113.53 points.

Hong Kong-listed shares of banking giant HSBC closed down 0.41% after it announced up to 25,000 job cuts and the closures of businesses in Brazil and Turkey, among other measures, as it seeks to save costs and simplify its business.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index finished down 0.5% to 5,471.3 after being closed the previous day for a holiday. Last week, the benchmark index slid nearly 5%, marking its worst weekly performance in three years. South Korean shares ended flat after data showed that annual sales at its department and discount stores both rose in May for the first time in three months. But the government warned that an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) threatened ongoing recovery.

The benchmark Kospi index closed at 2,064.03 points.