Asian stocks headed south at the open on Friday amid dwindling hopes of Greek deal and as Japan released a raft of economic data. Japan’s core consumer price index (CPI) ticked up 0.1 percent from a year earlier in May, just a tad above Reuters’ expectations for a flat reading. The unemployment rate was steady at 3.3 percent in May, in line with expectations, while household expenditures beat estimates to rise 4.8 percent on-year. According to a Reuters poll, household spending was expected to gain 3.4 percent on-year.
Meanwhile, the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers quickly ended on Thursday, without any signs of an agreement. That means Greece is expected to default on its debt at the end of the month unless it implements some tough reform measures in exchange for further financial aid.
Overnight, U.S. equities finished a quiet session with modest losses, as a lack of resolution between Greece and its foreign creditors kept traders on the sidelines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 shed 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 0.2 percent.