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Asia: Stocks slide as Greece 'no' vote raises risk of Euro exit


[SINGAPORE] Asian stocks fell as Greece voted against accepting further austerity, increasing the likelihood of the country's exit from the euro zone.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.5 per cent to 145.65 as of 9.01 am in Tokyo. Sixty-one per cent of voters backed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's rejection of further spending cuts and tax increases in an unprecedented referendum that's also taken the country to the brink of financial collapse. The results mean Greece exiting the currency union is now the base scenario, JPMorgan Chase & Co said. Japan's Topix index sank 1.5 per cent as the yen gained 1.2 per cent against the euro.

European Union president Donald Tusk called a euro-area summit for Tuesday. While the European Central Bank's Governing Council is due to talk on Monday on whether to keep supporting Greece's lenders, it'll probably be reluctant to preempt such a meeting.

"There's a whole range of unpredictable outcomes," Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners Ltd in Wellington, which manages about US$7.2 billion, said by phone. "It's surprising that the 'no' vote won so convincingly, certainly more decisively than the polls had suggested. This puts us in limbo for so much longer and it's very negative for risk sentiment especially when you add in what we're seeing with developments out of China."

China Measures China suspended initial public offerings and brokerages pledged to buy shares in weekend measures aimed at halting the steepest three-week plunge in local equities since 1992. The rout erased US$3.2 trillion of value from the market on concern leveraged traders are liquidating bets after valuations exceeded levels seen during China's stock-market bubble of 2007. Markets on the mainland and in Hong Kong have yet to open.

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South Korea's Kospi index lost 1.3 per cent. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index slipped 0.6 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 0.5 per cent.

West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled as much as 4.4 per cent to as low as US$54.44 a barrel, headed for its lowest close in almost three months.


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