Doubts on Europe debts return; Asian stocks may trade lower

<p>Asian markets are expected to open lower today after fresh doubts on Europe hit U.S. markets overnight. Traders sought safety in the final hour of […]</p>

Asian markets are expected to open lower today after fresh doubts on Europe hit U.S. markets overnight. Traders sought safety in the final hour of trading after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said he will put the European Union’s new agreement on financing for Greece to a referendum. 

Financials took the largest losses. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup shed more than 7.5%, following the biggest weekly gain since July 2010 for financial shares in the S&P 500, as European banks retreated.

Australian banks will be watched closely over the next two days as Westpac and ANZ report their full year results. The banks have held up relatively well as they go into their reporting periods, ahead of going ex-dividend. 

In other regional news, Japan’s currency intervention remains the talking point in currency markets. The government has signaled it is prepared for sustained intervention to ward off speculators from yen purchase. The impact on Japanese industrial companies – key regional exporters – is being largely felt. Panasonic and Honda have already hosed down earnings expectations due to the currency position. Yesterday’s intervention in the yen is thought to have totaled around $50bn, slightly below the August intervention effort but still substantial in the overall context. 


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