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Asian markets regain some ground

Monday, May 21, 2012 - 02:02

Asian stocks in partial rebound after sharp weekly loss, eye European compromise on austerity and growth.

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NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4 BY 3 MATERIAL Asian markets found some comfort from the call by world leaders for Athens to stay in the euro zone, but stayed wary ahead of Greek elections that would probably decide the final outcome. Shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent, after dropping to a 2012 low on Friday. Regional shares fell around 6 percent last week, their worst weekly performance in nearly eight months. South Korea's Kospi led the partial rebound, with Samsung Electronics finally snapping a 4-day run of losses that saw it lose $20 billion in market cap. Trading in Hong Kong was volatile, with the benchmark staying near 4-month lows hit last week. Internet firm Tencent fell over four percent, as shareholders signalled doubts over a planned revamp. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 percent, but the broader Topix traded weaker to end the day flat. Tokyo stocks have logged seven straight weeks of losses, their longest losing streak since the third quarter of 2011. Independent economist Enzio von Pfeil, says markets are adjusting and preparing for Greek downside. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT STRATEGIST AND MACROECONOMIST, ENZIO VON PFEIL, SAYING: "I think the markets are getting used to a 'Grexit', to the observation that the Greeks will exit the EU and indeed the EU is having a summit about that; and then of course you've got the Greek elections on the 17th of June, so my take is that the markets are just adjusting, they are not as surprised about Europe as they used to be and they are preparing for that downside of a Greek exit from the Euro." Analysts say markets will probably not see the kind of slump experienced last week, with support coming from value hunters. But investors will stay risk averse, as seen in the yen's rise. The safe haven currency rose to a 3-month high against the dollar Monday. Attention is now on a May 23 summit, to see if European leaders can strike a new balance between growth and tough fiscal reforms. Arnold Gay, Reuters

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Asian markets regain some ground

Monday, May 21, 2012 - 02:02