Asian stock markets ended mixed Tuesday as investors await further Greek developments after it missed a Monday deadline to strike a deal for its Euro rescue.
The two main Greek labour unions announced on Sunday that they were planning a 24-hour general strike for Tuesday to protest against additional austerity measures demanded by the Troika's (EU, IMF, ECB). This new wave of protests comes at a critical moment for Greece as political tensions have resumed both within the country and with official lenders, said a note from Credit Agricole Research.
German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy Monday warned Greek leaders that the country had to comply with Troika requests in order to receive the second bailout package it needs by mid-March. The country will likely to default on its bond repayments on March 20 if it fails to get the bailout.
The Japanese benchmark, Nikkei, declined 0.13 percent or 11.68 points to 8,917.52 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.11 percent or 22.49 points to 20,687.45 while Seoul composite gained 0.43 percent to 1,981.59.
Chinese shares plunged 1.68 percent after the International Monetary Fund warned that a sharp downturn in Europe could cut China's economic growth rate nearly in half. Jiangxi Copper Co. declined 1.55 percent and Poly Real Estate Group plunged 3.06 percent while China State Construction Engineering fell 1.95 percent.