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Asian stock markets ended the week lower amid concerns the agreement on raising the US national debt may not be reached by August 2.
By the end of the week the Japan’ Nikkei 225 fell by 2.95% at 9,901.35, below 10,000.
The Hong Kong’ Hang Seng remained virtually unchanged as lost only 0.02% at 22,440.20.
The Australia’ S&P/ASX 200 closed lower 3.87% at 4,424.60.
The China’ Shanghai Composite Index dropped by 2.49% at 3,187.53.
The markets appeared under pressure by ongoing debate of Republicans and Democrats and weak US statistics.
“Asian equity markets have very much followed what we saw in the U.S.” on Wednesday, said TD Securities strategist Roland Randall. “Markets hate uncertainty.”
Investors were also grappling with a deluge of second-quarter earnings reports, many of which gave an insight into how companies were dealing with the recovering supply chain following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters.
Hyundai Motor , the world’s fifth-largest carmaker by sales together with affiliate Kia Motors , reported a 37% jump in second-quarter earnings as the South Korean company benefited from disrupted production at its Japanese rivals in the wake of the March disaster.
Shares climbed strongly in the first half of the week, but later fell sharply on news of recovering US sales at Toyota, Asia’s biggest carmaker.
Toyota said that although its market share was already recovering, it would be September before it really started to pick up momentum.
Hyundai is expected to face tougher competition in the second half as other Japanese companies including Honda and Nissan recover more quickly than expected. Shares in Hyundai fell 0.6% over the week to Won235,000, while Kia climbed 0.1% to Won77,400.
Nissan Motor was caught in the selling, even after it reported better than expected first-quarter results. Its stock fell 4.5% on the week to Y822. Toyota lost 5.3% to Y3,155 and Honda shed 4.8 % to Y3,080.
As for other companies, shares of Sony (-7.3% до Y1,947) and Toshiba (-4.5% до Y400) declined amid weaken-than-expected quarterly reports.
European stock indexes also closed the week in red, shedding between 2% and 4%.
By the end of the week the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 2.42% at 1,108.9.
The Britain's FTSE 100 closed down 2.02% at 5,815.19.
The Frence’ CAC 40 decreased by 4.42% at 3,672.77.
The Germany’ Xetra DAX fell 2.29% at 7,158.77.
The markets were under pressure as by concerns on EU debt crisis as an international rating agency Standard & Poor’s lowered Greece’s credit rating to CC from CCC with negative outlook, agency Moody's placed Spain's AA2 credit rating under review for a possible downgrade and Italy had to pay elevated yields at a government bond auction.
Following the downgrade of Greek debt rating, shares of National Bank of Greece lost 11.8% to € 4.73. As for the Italian banks, Intesa Sanpaolo’ shares fell by 7.4% to € 1.62, shares of UniCredit dropped by 5.3% to € 1.25, shares of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena shed 5.5% to € 0.52.
Shares in Veolia Environnement slid 13.3% to €15.81 over the week. The company said it planned to reveal details of a reorganization during its earnings presentation on August 4. Suez Environnement, Veolia’s smaller competitor, fell by 3.2% to €12.93.
French technology shares were also hit, following heavy losses on the US Nasdaq index over the week and some downbeat earnings. Alcatel-Lucent , the mobile technology group, had a weekly fall of 23.1% to €2.76, reporting results which fell shy of expectations.
"Blue Chips" finished the week on gloomy mood, declining on average by 4%.
At the end of the week the S&P 500 fell by 3.92% at 1,292.28, suffering the worst weekly losses since 2008.
NASDAQ Composite closed the week lower by 3.58% at 2,756.38;
Dow Jones Industrial Average shed by 4.24% at 12,143.24.
After hours the US House is scheduled to vote on Boehner debt bill again. Even if the measure passes, it is expected to die in the Senate, and President Obama has threatened to veto it.
Topping Wall Street’ estimates, stock of such giants as Chevron (CVX) (-4.54%), Sprint Nextel (S) (-18.02%), IMAX Corporation (IMAX) (-6.19%), Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) (-5.88%), Oshkosh Corporation (OSK) (-0.56%) closed the week lower.
Amid strong finansial reports, shares of coffee producer Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.’ (GMCR) lifted by 1.35% on the week and shares of CROCS Inc. (CROX), maker of colorful holey plastic sandals, slipped by 1.33% on the week.
Merck, the US drug company, said on Friday that it would slash as many as 13,000 jobs as it looked to cut costs and invest in emerging markets. Merck’s shares declined by 5.4% on the week.
Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIMM) fell by 1.81% on the week as the company announced it was laying off 2,000 employees (11% of its workforce).
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