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BANGKOK -- World markets were mixed Monday as Greece's parliament began debating harsh new austerity measures that must pass for the country get its next batch of emergency financial aid.
Oil prices fell below $91 a barrel. The dollar dipped against the euro but was higher against the yen.
In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was 0.4% higher at 5,717.80, while Germany's DAX rose 0.1% to 7,129.43. France's CAC-40 was 0.3% higher at 3,794.70.
Wall Street was set for a higher opening, with
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures 0.2% higher at 11,910 and
S&P 500 futures rising 0.3% to 1,267.50.
Earlier, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1% to close at 9,578.31, with even export shares failing to get a bounce from the weakening yen, which makes Japanese products cheaper overseas.
Toyota(TM), the world's largest auto maker, fell 2.3%. Electronics giant
Sony(SNE) lost 2.1%.
South Korea's Kospi lost 1% to 2,070.29 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 22,041.77. Analysts said the overriding worry of the week was whether debt-drenched Greece would enact a slew of harsh austerity measures in order for the country to receive a chunk of its multibillion euro bailout.
If those measures fail to win parliamentary approval, the country would run out of money in mid-July and be at serious risk of defaulting on its debts, a prospect that could unleash financial shocks globally.
Tey Tze Ming, a trader at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore, said the European debt crisis -- if it blows up and spreads beyond Greece to a major economy like Spain -- would be felt very keenly by Asian economies that are heavily dependent on exporting to Western Europe.
"In the short term, I think stocks in Asia are going to be in for a bit more pain. I think there's a lot more downside," Ming said.
A slump in tech shares on Wall Street on Friday carried over to Asia. South Korea's
Hynix Semiconductor, one of the world's leading computer chip makers, was 4.3% down. Japanese chipmaker
Elpida Memory slipped 2%, and
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing lost 1.2%.
But tumbling oil prices, which translate into lower fuel costs, helped sustain airline shares.
Air China rose 5% in Hong Kong.