Asian Markets Closed Mixed on Greek Drama

Asian markets experienced mixed trading on Wednesday, with investors remaining cautious ahead of eurozone meetings over Greece.

Finance ministers meet on Wednesday and EU leaders on Thursday, but officials are already downplaying the chance of a breakthrough in a debt deal for Greece.

Australian shares headed lower, despite a measure of consumer sentiment surging to its highest in 13 months.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.5% at 5,769.1 points.

The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank index of consumer sentiment rose by a seasonally adjusted 8% in February, the largest monthly increase since September 2011.

The recent cut in interest rates as well as falling fuel prices boosted consumer confidence.

With company earnings in focus, shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell 0.8% despite announcing a record profit for the first half of the current financial year ending in June.

Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Chinese markets headed in different directions, showing the disconnect between the two main stock markets.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.5% at 3,157.70, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.9% at 24,315.02.

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5% to 1,945.7 after data showed import prices falling at the fastest pace since 1999, largely due to lower energy costs.

Import prices were 19.2% lower in January than a year earlier, the steepest drop since March 1999.

via BBC

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza