Asia stocks down on slow euro bank union progress

AP News
Posted: Sep 17, 2012 11:47 PM
Asia stocks down on slow euro bank union progress

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets mostly fell Tuesday as signs that Europe will take longer than expected to set up a new authority to supervise European banks kept investors on the sidelines.

The creation of a European banking union is important to prevent any bank failures from torpedoing the finances of financially weak countries such as Spain or Italy. But a meeting among European finance ministers over the weekend underscored the lack of consensus on the details of such a union.

"It appears that markets have to wait longer than expected to get clarity on Greece, Spain and the banking supervision. This continued delay could put downward pressure on the euro and other risk assets," said Stan Shamu of IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 percent to 9,173.54. South Korea's Kospi fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,001.28. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was marginally down to 20,646.57. Benchmarks in Singapore, mainland China and Taiwan fell.

Wall Street dropped Monday after a survey suggested that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to weaken in September. That followed news from the Federal Reserve on Friday that U.S. industrial production fell in August by the largest amount in more than three years.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent to 13,553.10. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.3 percent to 1,461.19. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.2 percent to 3,178.67.

Benchmark oil for October delivery was up 39 cents to $97.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished up 69 cents to $99 per barrel in New York on Friday. The contract fell $2.38, or 2.4 percent, to finish at $96.62 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3100 from $1.3107. The dollar rose to 78.58 yen from 78.74 yen.