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Asian stocks lower on weak China CPI, Dow’s dip into red

June 9, 2015

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday, hit by a sagging Wall Street and deadlocked Greek bailout negotiations. More weak Chinese economic data further clouded the gloomy outlook.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.8 percent to 20,292.94 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.9 percent to 27,060.09. The Shanghai Composite shed 1.6 percent to 5,050.34. But South Korea’s Kospi held steady at 2,065.74 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 percent to 5,511.00. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly lower.

GREEK DEBT: Talks between Greece and its creditors have been deadlocked since late last week. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected as unacceptable a proposal made by the three institutions overseeing the country’s bailout: the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. An agreement is needed by June 30, when Greece’s emergency financing program ends.

THE QUOTE: “Against a backdrop of ongoing bond value destruction, the Greek PM’s latest piece of interpretive dance, and better than expected US jobs data, markets face a turbulent week as they digest a smorgasbord of data,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC said in a commentary.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped into the red for the year on Monday as stocks extended their slump, with big losses among airlines. Investors remain cautious over the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate later this year for the first time since the 2009 global recession after a strong jobs report last Friday suggested that the economy is recovering from its winter slump. The Dow fell 82.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,766.55, giving it a loss of 0.3 percent for 2015. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 13.55 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,079.28.

CHINA FACTOR: China’s inflation benchmark slipped to 1.2 percent in May from 1.5 percent the month before, signaling weak demand and continued deflationary pressures. That followed Monday’s report that both imports and exports contracted again in May. The string of lackluster data are adding to pressures for further stimulus to prevent the slowdown becoming a sharp slump.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 25 cents to $58.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 99 cents Monday to close at $58.14 a barrel in New York after import data suggested a slowdown in Chinese trade, which could lead to weaker global demand for diesel, gasoline and other fuels. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 18 cents to $63.41 a barrel. It fell 62 cents to close at $62.69 in London on Monday.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar slipped to 124.45 yen from 124.62 yen on Monday. The euro climbed to $1.1317 from $1.1278.

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