The near certainty of a Greek departure from the eurozone, and doubt about what could happen in the aftermath of this, has seen global stocks take a further battering on Wednesday.
Asian stocks accelerated their slide in the Wednesday trading session, with the Korean and Hong Kong stock indexes shedding more than three percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 3.24 percent to 19,250.57 points, with the KOSPI in South Korea hammered 3.08 percent lower to 1,840.53 at the end of the day’s trade in Seoul
By 06:55 GMT, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 1.65 percent to 2,829.22 points, with mainland China’s Shanghai Composite down 1.07 percent to 2,349.53. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.1 percent down at 8,801.17, with the broader TOPIX index also declining 1.1 percent to 738.88 points. In Australia the SP/ASX 200 fell 2.4 percent by the close of trade in Sydney
New elections in Greece may be scheduled for early June after President Karolos Papoulias failed to broker a governing coalition in meetings yesterday with the country’s main political parties.
The ongoing Greek political impasse is also driving European stocks lower in early trade, with Germany’s Dax falling 0.9 percent to 6,344 points, Britain’s FTSE 100 down 1.1 percent to 5,377.41 points and France’s CAC losing 0.8 percent to 3,015.35 points.
European indices are expected to remain subject to investor nerves with Greece teetering on the brink of a sovereign default, and an historic potential ejection or departure from the European common currency, the euro.
The potential impact of this on the balance sheets of many major European banks remains in doubt, leading to a flight to quality amongst investors worldwide, against the backdrop of Spain, which currently has unemployment of 24 percent, Italy, which has major sovereign debt servicing issues, or Ireland or Portugal, which have already received euro-bailouts being pushed further into turmoil.