Greek Stock Market Reopens with Sharp Losses
Greek stocks dropped sharply Monday when the Athens Stock Exchange opened for the first time in five weeks. The exchange index lost nearly 23 percent in the opening moments of trading. Shares steadily regained some ground, with the index down less than 19 percent after two hours.
The government closed the stock exchange in late June when it also shut down banks and imposed limits on money withdrawals in response to the country's debt crisis.
Greece reached an agreement on a new bailout with the European Union and International Monetary Fund last month and reopened the banks on July 20. Capital controls are still in place, and the government continues to negotiate with creditors on exact terms for a new rescue package that could be worth up to $94 billion.
The bailout is Greece's third in the span of five years. It came after weeks of negotiations and controversy that included Greek voters rejecting an earlier bailout package in a referendum. Many Greeks oppose the type of harsh austerity measures creditors’ demand, saying they only have made the country's economic woes worse.
Asian Markets Decline on Sluggish Chinese Manufacturing Figures
Sluggish economic activity in China and falling oil prices triggered a steep decline among Asian stock markets during Monday's early trading.
Investors pulled out of the markets after a private survey showed China's manufacturing activity in July falling to its lowest levels in two years. Economists say that suggests more rough water ahead for the world's second largest economy.
Oil prices were also trading lower Monday, with the benchmark U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipping to $46.85, while Brent crude oil was trading at $51.91. Copper prices also fell during Monday's trading,
The Shanghai index slumped over 1.5 percent, while Seoul's Kospi index dropped nearly one percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost as much as one percent.