IMF Approves Greek Bailout Funds Ahead Of March 20 Deadline (YAO, EWS, EWA, EWY, EWJ)
Randall Mah: The International Monetary Fund has officially agreed to pay $36.7 billion to Greece, bringing the debt-ridden country’s second bailout total to $170 billion. The move was expected after the country’s successful debt swap last week.
Greece’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, however, said the country still has a tough road ahead.
“The crisis is not over,” Venizelos said. “We have before us many difficult issues. We must get through 2012, which will be a difficult year. We must get to 2013.”
Athens now needs to pay what remains of its debt, starting with what was once calculated to be an $18 billion installment on March 20.
Markets across Europe, however, responded positively, with most making gains during midday trading. Asian stocks were mostly mixed.
By midday, London’s FTSE had risen 0.51%, the German DAX had climbed 0.67% and the French CAC 40 had edged up 0.24%. The euro fell 0.06% to $1.3072 and the British pound appreciated 0.13% to $1.5733.
Overnight, the Shanghai Composite (NYSEARCA:YAO) climbed 1.30%. Airbus announced that China has blocked the purchase of 35 long-haul A330s, 10 A380 superjumbo jets and 10 A330 planes, putting $14 billion in aircraft sales in jeopardy as China raises the stakes over a row concerning the European Union’s airline carbon tax.
In Singapore, shares (NYSEARCA:EWS) dropped 0.50%. The city-state, however, enjoyed a 30.5% surge in non-oil exports in February over the same period last year, as electronics and pharmaceuticals enjoyed a boost. Electronics exports alone jumped 23.3% over a year earlier. Government data indicate that Singapore’s economy may grow this quarter, avoiding recession.
Australian stocks (NYSEARCA:EWA) slid 0.05%. Increased concern that China’s demand for minerals is waning pushed BHP Billiton shares down 0.60%. Rival Rio Tinto appreciated 0.29%.
Meanwhile, Korea’s KOSPI (NYSEARCA:EWY) dipped 0.46%. Japan’s Nikkei (NYSEARCA:EWJ) held onto positive territory, up 0.06%.
The Chinese yuan fell 0.09% to 6.3222 to the dollar, while the Japanese yen appreciated 0.46% to 83.88 against the greenback.
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