Asian stock markets ended lower on Tuesday as continued political unrest in the Middle East weighed on the sentiment.
Moammar Gaddafi appeared on state television on Tuesday, local time, to kill rumors that he has left the country. The besieged dictator said he wanted to show that he was still in Libya and not in friendly country Venezuela as reported on Monday. While Gaddafi did not make any substantial references to the bloody struggle taking place around his country demanding his exit, his favorite 'dog' abuse was back with a vengeance.
Tokyo shares declined after Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on the Japan's Aa2 sovereign rating to negative from stable on concern the government policies may not be enough to address the nation’s debt burden.
Japanese benchmark index Nikkei fell 1.78 percent or 192.83 points to 10,664.70. Toyota Motor fell 2.56 per cent to 3,805 yen and Sony Corp. declined 1.30 per cent to 3,035 yen, while Honda Motor declined 2.44 per cent to 3,590 yen.
Hong Kong stocks recorded the biggest decline in three months as developer’s shares on concern the city may try to curb city's sizzling property market. Benchmark Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 494.61 points or 2.11 percent to 22,990.81.
Hang Lung Properties Ltd. fell 2.44 percent and HSBC Holdings PLC declined 2.59 percent. Shares of Alibaba.com plunged 8.63 percent after the company said its CEO and COO had resigned following following a company probe that found fraudulent vendors.
Chinese stocks ended lower on Tuesday as airlines stocks plunged on soaring oil price triggered by the unrest in Libya. Shanghai composite plunged 2.60 percent or 76.29 points to 2,855.96. China Southern Airlines slumped 5.23 percent and Air China fell 5 percent, while China Eastern Airlines declined 4.93 percent.
South Korean shares fell sharply, led by declines from transportation and developers shares. Benchmark Seoul composite declined 35.38 points or 1.76 percent to 1,969.92. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., which gets most of its revenue from the Middle East, plunged 9.73 percent and Korean Air Line slumped 10.13 percent.