05/07/2010, 00.00
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Asian stock markets down after concerns over Greece and Wall Street

Tokyo drops almost 4%, Hong Kong opens down to 2%; Shanghai less than 2.4%. Fears that the EU can not contain the crisis in Athens, and that it will spread to Spain and Portugal. Maybe a technical error behind 9% drop on the New York Stock Exchange. But panic is widespread.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the early hours of the opening, the exchanges in Asia have fallen after massive losses on Wall Street yesterday and fears over the crisis in Greek. In the morning Tokyo lost 3.7%, Hong Kong has opened at minus 2%, rallying in the morning, but remaining at minus 0.5%. The index in Seoul fell by 2.9% Shanghai 2.4. There were also sharp drops in Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he was "very concerned" about the drop. The Bank of Japan today decided to provide 2 trillion yen [more than 17 billion euro] in short-term loans to commercial banks to support liquidity.

Analysts say that "investors are worried that the Greek debt problem may spread to other European countries such as Spain and Portugal. They are not sure that the European Union can contain the financial crisis. "

The collapse of Asian stock markets comes on the heels of Wall Street yesterday that lost up to 9%, before recovering two-thirds before closing. The loss, however, remains the deepest since last February.

Some say that yesterday's fall is due to a simple typing error. According to someone a trader by mistake placed a sell order for 16 billion instead of 16 million and this almost automatically triggered the race to the sell off shares. Many traders and investors use computerized programs to buy or sell large blocks of shares. The program uses mathematical models suggesting to traders the best solutions in the quickest time possible.  The large volume of shares sold yesterday - because of the supposed "mistake" - triggered a flood of sales on the market.

But although there are technical problems, the fact remains that morale is low and panic spreads easily, given the state of the world economy.

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