(IBTimes) - Anti-austerity momentum in Greece continued to
weigh down markets with the prospect of the country defaulting or
leaving the euro. Spain's Ibex 35 Index lost 3 percent, led by
bank stocks, while its 10-year yields rose more than 6 percent
over banking-sector concerns, which were helped along by news
that the government will take over Bankia S.A. (Madrid: BKIA),
the product of a 2010 merger of seven troubled Spanish banks.
All Asian markets were down, led by a 1.5 percent drop in
Japan's Nikkei, the lowest closing in nearly three months. The
yen has been appreciating, which is hurting exports and the
corporate earnings linked heavily to them. On the upside: Toyota
Motor Co. (
) ADR shares rose 3 percent in New York after the carmaker
reported stellar growth in profits and an upbeat 2013
Meanwhile, oil continued its downward slide in the U.S. and
London after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported
that crude supplies are at the highest in 22 years. The U.S.
Commerce Department also said stockpiling is slowing, suggesting
similar deceleration in U.S. factory demand. Good news, bad news:
Summer fuel-pump prices will decline, but only because industrial
activity is declining, too.
Markets were mostly down worldwide while German and U.S. debt
was in demand. European shares have all but wiped year-to-date
gains. Cost Plus Inc. (
) shares rocketed over 20 percent after Bed Bath & Beyond
) announced it was buying the Oakland, Calif.-based specialty
home goods retailer for $495 million after a successful joint
test run selling specialty foods inside some Bed Bath &
Beyond outlets. A big loser was Cincinnati-based retail chain
Macy's, Inc. (
), which saw its stock decline more than 3 percent despite
beating analysts' forecasts thanks to a disappointing annual
forecast that suggests the momentum might be wiped out if
consumers spend less for the rest of the year.
Safe-haven investors sent the German 10-year Bund to an
all-time high, conversely sending its yield as low as 1.49
percent before rebounding but still closing down for the day The
U.S. 10-year Treasury yield fell below the key resistance level
of 1.8 percent before rising to close above it at 1.83. Despite
record low yields, the U.S. auctioned $24 billion in notes.
Japanese 10-year yields touched a 19-month low before
The euro continued its fall against the yen and the dollar as
investors mitigated their risk. Concerns the Reserve Bank of
Australia will soon lower its interest-rate target put pressure
on the Aussie against the yen, boosting slightly the dollar
against the yen. Meanwhile, India's rupee closed at an all-time
low as demand for the dollar remained high while India's capital
outflow continues to be a problem.
Natural gas futures closed at a two-month high for a second
day after the U.S. Energy Department said electricity demand
would increase by 21 percent this year. Natural gas was at a
10-year low in April. Gasoline for June delivery also rose
slightly. Gold fell to its lowest level since December.
For more information, go to