Asian markets were mixed Friday as investors remained watchful amid worries of the deepening debt burden faced by the euro zone and worsening global economic growth.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.28 percent or 6.22 points to 2178.62. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.25 percent or 48.28 points to 19607.33. Major gainers were Sands China Ltd (1.06 percent) and CNOOC Ltd (0.63 percent).
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average dropped 0.29 percent or 25.25 points to 8770.30. Among major losers were Toyota Motor Corp (0.66 percent), Sony Corp (1.73 percent) and Sojitz Corp (3.25 percent).
South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index marginally rose 0.06 percent or 1.15 points to 1824.11. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd advanced 0.33 percent and shares of Hyundai Motor Co fell 0.67 percent.
India's BSE Sensex dropped 0.12 percent or 20.32 points to 17258.53. Major losers were Hero MotoCorp (0.83 percent), Tata Steel (0.40 percent) and Suzlon Energy Ltd (0.28 percent).
Investors continue to worry about the uncertainties in the euro zone economy. The inability to seal the deal on the main elements of the recent EU Summit has become a major worrying aspect for market players.
Market sentiment was dragged down as the euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.226. Investors are worried that the outlook for the European economy has deteriorated as the bigger countries like Spain have also fallen prey to the euro zone debt crisis. Spanish bond yields have climbed to critical levels, despite the support package for Spain’s banks. The situation is much the same in Italy.
Market participants feel that the short-term support measures available to policymakers currently lack the firepower needed to address the crisis. Investors feel that bold measures, including easing in the monetary policy, will give the much-needed thrust to boost liquidity in the financial system.
Market players also feel that there is an urgent need for China to ease monetary policies to rejuvenate the weakening economy and regain the growth momentum after the slowdown of its gross domestic product growth in the second quarter to the lowest rate in three years.