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Asia Stocks Drop, Euro Rebounds in Late Trade

Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul all sink less than a quarter of a percent, with Hong Kong down more than 1% and Shanghai up more than 1.5%.

HONG KONG — Asian markets mostly sank on Friday, following Wall Street shares after the IMF cut its U.S. growth outlook, with traders nervously watching events in Europe after Greece tied up a deal to delay its latest debt repayments.

The euro reversed morning losses to push higher late in the day after Germany's central bank raised its growth forecasts for the next three years.

Tokyo slipped 0.13%, or 27.29 points, to close at 20,460.90, while Sydney shed 0.11%, or 5.80 points, to 5,498.50 — a fifth straight loss — and Seoul was down 0.23%, or 4.76 points, at 2,068.10.

Hong Kong tumbled 1.06%, or 291.73 points, to 27,260.16 but Shanghai rose 1.54%, or 75.99 points to 5,023.10 — above 5,000 points for the first time since January 2008.

Wall Street retreated after the International Monetary Fund slashed its forecasts for U.S. growth this year to 2.5% from a previous estimate of 3.1%, citing a ports strike, bad winter weather, a strong dollar and the oil downturn.

Fund head Christine Lagarde also called on the Federal Reserve to refrain from hiking interest rates until 2016, saying conditions were not supportive of a move this year.

The OPEC oil cartel will also hold a meeting later in the day to determine production levels, with expectations that it will continue pumping at the current high levels, which would put downward pressure on crude prices.

The Dow fell 0.94%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.86% and the Nasdaq shed 0.79%.

 IN OTHER MARKETS: On currency markets, the dollar was at 124.52 yen against 124.37 yen late Thursday in New York.

—  The euro rebounded to sit at $1.1260 and 140.48 yen in late trade, from $1.1239 and 139.79 yen in the United States.

—  Taipei was slightly lower, edging down 8.50 points to 9,340.13.

— Wellington was marginally higher, adding 2.46 points to 5,867.90.

— Manila closed 0.36%, or 26.95 points, lower at 7,526.70.

— Bangkok rose 1.10%, or 16.47 points, to 1,507.37.

— Singapore fell 0.34%, or 11.33 points, to 3,333.67. 

— Jakarta ended up 0.09%, or 4.75 points, at 5,100.57. 

— Kuala Lumpur rose 0.22%, or 3.85 points, to 1,745.33. 

— Mumbai fell 0.17%, or 44.93 points, to end at 26,768.49.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

TAGS: Finance
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