Asia Stocks Drop, Euro Weakens Before Meeting
Asia stocks dropped, following the regional index’s biggest quarterly loss since 2008, and the euro fell to an eight-month low against the dollar before European finance ministers gather to weigh the threat of a Greek default. Oil traded below $80 a barrel and copper sank a fourth day.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 1.4 percent at 9:38 a.m. in Tokyo. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures retreated 0.2 percent. Europe’s shared currency dropped 0.2 percent to $1.3363 after declining to $1.3322, the weakest level since Jan. 18. Crude sank 1.1 percent to $78.31 a barrel in New York, while copper lost 1.7 percent to $6,900 a metric ton in London.
European officials gathering in Luxembourg today will grapple with how to shield banks from the debt crisis and consider a further boost to the region’s rescue fund. The Greek government said yesterday it approved 6.6 billion euros ($8.8 billion) of austerity measures as part of efforts to secure a pending aid payment and a second rescue package. U.S. factories probably grew last month at the slowest pace since July 2009, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said. For more visit: Bloomberg.com
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