Asian stock markets mostly lower, euro falls
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HONG KONG – Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday while the euro weakened after Greece said it might seek international assistance to resolve its debt crisis.

The largely muted trade came after Wall Street advanced for the seventh straight day. Oil prices fell to near $82 a barrel.

Global markets jumped Wednesday after U.S. and Japanese central banks signaled plans to maintain low borrowing costs to help foster economic growth.

The euro slipped against the dollar a day after Greece, struggling to meet the country's massive debt obligations, said it could seeking funding from the International Monetary Fund if other European countries didn't provide support next week.

European Union nations have been slow to come to Greece's immediate aid, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested this week the euro zone should be able to eject countries that persistently disobey the region's budget rules.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average was down 102.95 points, or 1 percent, to 10,744.03. South Korea's Kospi index lost 0.5 percent.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent to 21,345.74 and Shanghai's main index was off by 0.3 percent.

Markets in Australia, Taiwan and Thailand rose. India's market shed 0.1 percent.

In currencies, the euro slid to $1.3673 from $1.3733. The dollar was off at 90.20 yen.

Oil prices fell toward $82 a barrel Thursday in Asia, paring two days of gains that were fueled by signs U.S. crude demand may be improving.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was down 65 cents to $82.29. The contract rose $1.23 overnight.

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow rose 47.69, or 0.5 percent, to 10,733.67. It is at its highest point since Oct. 1, 2008. The seven-day streak of gains is its longest since August.

The S&P 500 index rose 6.75, or 0.6 percent, to 1,166.21. That's the highest close since Sept. 30, 2008.

 

 

   Source: http://www.yahoo.com    Author:   
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