Asian markets buckle under 'Grexit' pressure, STI stumbles 10 points

A woman withdraws money from an ATM machine next to a beggar and a graffiti reading" No to fear" in Thessaloniki on July 6, 2015.
A woman withdraws money from an ATM machine next to a beggar and a graffiti reading" No to fear" in Thessaloniki on July 6, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Asian markets buckled on Monday on news that Greece has rejected more austerity measures proposed by its creditors during the July 5 historic referendum, making way for its possible exit from the eurozone and spark further volatility across capital markets everywhere.

Sentiments at Wall Street were already downcast last Friday before the poll had taken place, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 0.16 per cent.

The Nikkei in Japan pared 2.08 per cent on Monday, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index entered correction territory with a 3.18 per cent fall, amid a heavy selloff.

The Straits Times Index stumbled 9.79 points, or 0.29 per cent, to close at 3,332.94.

Bucking the trend was the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index in China, which gained 2.41 per cent on the back of market-boosting measures.

Over the weekend, major brokers and fund managers had pledged to invest at least US$19 billion to steady the stock market.

Still, IG market strategist Bernard Aw noted the global markets have reacted less aggresively to Greece's "no" answer than expected.

At home, blue chip losses were led by commodities trader Noble Group, which slumped 3.5 cents to close at 71.5 cents.

The company had announced before trading that it will redeem all outstanding 6.625 per cent senior notes due 2020 on Aug 5 this year.

The notes were worth US$235 million as at July 3.

Palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources and agribusiness group Wilmar International were also among the day's laggards, dropping 2.41 per cent and 0.91 per cent respectively.

Some of the top blue chip performers included Hutchison Port Holdings, which climbed one cent to 86 cents, as well as Singtel, which rose two cents to S$4.270.

Offshore services provider Ezra Holdings' rights shares were the most actively traded, with 114.5 million shares changing hands.

The shares edged up 2.3 cents to close at seven cents. This was, however, at a discount to the issue price of 10.5 cents.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg