Arab Today, arab today asian shares fall after european election results
Last Updated : GMT 06:51:35
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Asian shares fall after European election results

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Asian shares fall after European election results

Beijing - Arabstoday

Asian markets have dipped on fears that the eurozone may have to rein in austerity measures that some see as key to solving the region's debt crisis. It follows the election of Francois Hollande as French president and parliamentary elections in Greece. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.6%, South Korea's Kospi shed 1.7% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 2.5%. Mr Hollande has said he wants Europe's economies to focus on growth rather than austerity to reduce debt burdens. The fear among investors is that the newly elected governments in the two countries may pursue spending increases in a bid to boost growth. That could see debt levels rise, especially in Greece, once again triggering concerns about whether the region's economies will be able to solve the ongoing debt crisis. "Investors are concerned on whether the eurozone fiscal compact will survive," Arjuna Mahanedran of HSBC Private Bank told the BBC. "That is key to solving the region's debt crisis." 'Ticking time bomb' Investor fears have been fanned further by the likely outcome of the parliamentary elections in Greece, which is struggling under huge levels of debt. Partial results in Greece's election have indicated that there have been dramatic losses for the two main parties, Pasok and New Democracy, who have been in coalition since last November. Analysts said the results showed that voters were deeply unhappy with the spending cuts and tax increases required under the terms of two EU/IMF bailouts. They said the new government may try and renegotiate some of the austerity measures agreed by the outgoing one in a bid to appease voters. "The Greek side of things is a ticking time bomb," Justin Harper of IG Markets told the BBC. "The fear now is that all the hard work that had gone into getting the second bailout package may start to unravel and we can expect some real pressure on stock markets in the coming days." Germany v France? The election of Mr Hollande has also raised concerns that efforts to solve the eurozone debt crisis may be hit by differences in opinion between him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on how to tackle the issue. Mr Hollande, who wants to focus more on growth, has said that he will re-negotiate the pact that enforces greater financial discipline among eurozone economies. He has even gone on to say that it was "not for Germany to decide the future of Europe". However, Mrs Merkel, who wants the region's economies to cut spending and bring down their debt levels, has maintained that there will no renegotiation of the pact. Analysts said that given the different approaches it may become difficult for eurozone members to agree on further measures required to solve the crisis. "The Merkel-Hollande initiative will never materialise due to Hollande and Merkel being polar opposites with no chance to agree on anything," Jeff Sica, president of SICA Wealth Management. Risk aversion The falls were not just limited to the stock markets. The euro fell to a three-month low of $1.2955 against the US dollar in Asian trade. The price of oil also declined. Brent crude was down by 1.0% to $111.95 per barrel and light crude fell by 1.7% to $96.8 per barrel. Analysts said investor sentiment was also dented by weaker-than-expected jobs data from the US on Friday, which showed that jobs growth in the world's biggest economy slowed during April. "When you take the unknown of what is happening in Europe and combine it with the slowdown in the US jobs growth, that is pushing people away from riskier assets," said David Lennox of Fat Prophets. "At the moment, given the political uncertainty in Europe, you have to count the euro as a risky asset," he added.  

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