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Asia stocks sink on Greece fear


[HONG KONG] Asian markets tumbled Wednesday after Greece was slapped with a deadline to submit fresh bailout reform proposals or face a eurozone exit, while Shanghai and Hong Kong plunged as fears about China's stock collapse spilled over into regional markets.

The European leaders' ultimatum to Athens, which could see it ejected from the currency bloc at the weekend, saw traders scramble to safer investments, pushing the yen higher.

Shanghai tumbled almost seven percent and Hong Kong lost 4.74 percent soon after opening, despite Chinese leaders announcing a slew of measures to staunch a mainland bloodletting that has wiped trillions off the country's markets.

Elsewhere in Asia Tokyo was 1.52 per cent lower by lunch, Sydney slipped 1.26 per cent and Seoul was off 0.99 per cent.

"The pricing in of the Greek debt problem is continuing, but we still have a lot of uncertainty," Hiroichi Nishi, a manager at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

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"Continuing declines in Chinese stocks, or fears that the Chinese economy will keep slowing down, will weigh on the market."

With the crisis now entering its endgame after more than five months, the euro - which has held up despite ongoing uncertainty - edged lower Wednesday.

It fell to $1.0990 from $1.1007 in New York, although it is up slightly from a five-week low of $1.0916 it hit at one point in US trade. The single currency was also at 134.41 yen against 134.89 yen.

The dollar was at 122.24 yen against 122.55 yen.

On Wall Street the Dow added 0.55 per cent, the S&P 500 jumped 0.62 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 0.11 per cent.


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