The Asian stock markets are expected to see continued selling pressure at the opening of trade on Monday, thanks to ongoing debt concerns in Europe - although Span is beginning to take the spotlight away from Greece.
Moody's downgraded 16 Spanish banks Friday, citing rising loan defaults, a renewed recession in Spain, restricted funding access and the reduced ability of the Spanish government to support lenders.
In addition, the Bank of Spain said the country's bad loans increased further in March. About 8.37 percent of loans held by banks in March were unpaid for more than three months. That compares to 8.3 percent in February. This was the highest bad debt ratio since 1994.
The major European markets were down on Friday as the DAX of Germany dropped by 0.60 percent and the CAC 40 of France closed down by 0.13 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. fell by 1.39 percent and the SMI of Switzerland decreased by 1.25 percent.
The major U.S. averages also ended Friday firmly in negative territory, at their worst closing levels in four months. The Dow fell 73.11 points or 0.6 percent to finish at 12,369.38, while the NASDAQ plunged 34.90 points or 1.2 percent to end at 2,778.79 and the S&P 500 slid 9.64 points or 0.7 percent to 1,295.22.
The Asian markets were down on Friday as South Korea's KOSPI plummeted 3.4 percent, while Taiwan retreated 2.79 percent, Japan's Nikkei gave up 2.29 percent, Thailand dropped 1.63 percent, Singapore's Straits Times was down 1.54 percent, China's Shanghai Composite plunged 1.44 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.30 percent and Malaysia eased 0.77 percent. Markets in Indonesia have been closed since Wednesday for the Ascension and will re-open today.
by RTT Staff Writer
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