Asian shares fall amid euro zone, banking worries

on September 05 2011 8:48 PM

Asian shares fell and the euro slipped on Tuesday amid fears that Europe's sovereign debt troubles are worsening and could trigger a second full-blown banking crisis.

European stocks tumbled 4 percent on Monday, with financial shares falling to their lowest in more than 2 years. Wall Street was closed on Monday for a holiday, but S&P 500 futures were down 2.4 percent on Tuesday.

Oil slipped on fears of renewed recession in the developed world, which would crimp demand, while gold, a traditional safe haven asset in times of economic uncertainty, sat just short of $1,900 an ounce, not far off its record high.

Tokyo's Nikkei fell 1 percent, while MSCI's broadest measure of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.6 percent, putting the index more than 18 percent down from its April high.

The latest focus of Europe's slow motion crisis is Italy, whose bonds were sold off on Monday on worries that Rome is not doing enough to bring its debt under control.

The euro traded around $1.4070, having fallen as low as $1.4060. That helped the dollar index climb above 75.200, its highest in nearly a month.

Japanese government bonds were in demand, as investors retreated from riskier assets, with September 10-year futures up 0.19 point at 142.98, a 10-month high, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell 1.5 basis points to 0.995 percent.

Brent crude fell 11 cents to just below $110 a barrel, while U.S. crude was down more than 3 percent, in thin volume, at around $83.68.

(Reporting by Alex Richardson; Editing by Frederik Richter)

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