Asian markets fell Friday as investors were disappointed with U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's lack of a commitment to additional monetary easing measures in his congressional testimony on the country's economic outlook.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 2.09 percent, or 180.46 points, to 8459.26. Among major losers were Sony Corp. (3.6 percent), Sharp (3.6 percent), Tokyo Electron Ltd (2.6 percent) and Toshiba Corp. (2 percent). South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.67 percent, or 12.31 points, to 1835.64.
Market sentiment turned negative after U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke refused to commit to additional monetary easing measures during his congressional testimony on the country's economic outlook Thursday. He commented that the Fed stood ready to act to protect the United States' financial markets and economy if the situation deteriorated.
Market confidence was also dampened as there was no sign of any enthusiasm for a large scale global intervention to prevent the breakup of the euro zone. Investors are also concerned about a contagion effect from the ongoing Greece crisis.
The rising borrowing costs of Spain and its troubled banking system have seriously affected investor confidence. In an indication that the euro zone financial crisis is deepening, Fitch lowered Spain's debt rating to BBB from A.
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India's BSE Sensex fell 0.44 percent, or 73.60 points, to 16575.45, tracking negative cues from other Asian markets. Stocks for oil, gas, automobile, power and technology companies fell. Major losers were the Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (1.75 percent), Infosys (1.5 percent) and State Bank of India (1 percent).
The Chinese Shanghai composite index fell 0.51 percent or 11.68 points to 2281.45. Investor confidence could not be rejuvenated even as the People's Bank of China cut the benchmark interest rate on Thursday by 25 basis points, which was the first rate cut of its kind since 2008.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.94 percent, or 175.95 points, to 18502.34. Major losers were Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (4.69 percent), Bank of Communications (3.71 percent) and Bank of China (2.11 percent).