Asian stocks may be heading for the largest weekly drop in price since October in a decline tied to the European debt crisis.
According to Bloomberg, several Asian stocks have seen large losses this week as Asian currencies such as the yen jump in value compared to the Euro. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped by 1.5 percent on Thursday as the yen continued to rise compared to the dollar and the Euro. At the same time, the Hong Kong-based MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent and is headed to fall even further.
By the end of the day on Thursday, both the dollar and the euro had fallen in value compared to the yen, according to Reuters. The dollar fell more than 1 percent, trading at 95.03 yen, while the euro fell from 124.38 to 122.54.
Investors have tied the fall of the euro and dollar to the European debt crisis as Cyprus falls deeper into debt. The European Union has given Cyprus until Monday to raise billions of euros necessary for a bailout. Without a bailout, Cyprus’ banking system could collapse.
“It seems that the downturn could intensify,” Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research in Sydney at Perpetual Investments told Bloomberg. “[Cyprus’] leadership keeps looking at the hole in the hull and wondering why they are waist deep in water, rather than fixing the damage.”
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It isn’t just Asian companies that stand to lose value this week. Several large Australian companies, including Billabong International and Leighton Holdings, have seen their shares drop between 7 and 14 percent this week.
Bloomberg notes that trading volumes in Japan, South Korea and Australia were all 25 percent below their average amounts, leading to speculation that the stock drop-offs could worsen.