MOSCOW, December 30 (Sputnik) — Political uncertainty over Greece and anxiety over declining commodity prices have resulted in major Asian stock indices finishing down on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Japan's TOPIX lost 1.2 percent on Tuesday, the last day of trading until next Monday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.5 percent, the Australian S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1 percent, Korea's KOSPI was down 0.6 percent, and the Shanghai Composite Index held steady at —0.1 percent.
Japanese heavyweights Fast Retailing, the mobile carrier Softbank, Fanuc robotics, and Fujifilm Holdings all closed down between 1.5 to 2 percent, accounting for much of the overall loss. Despite the down finish, Japan's TOPIX index gained 8.1 percent for the year, which was attributed largely to the Japanese Central Bank's policy of quantitative easing. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government has promised corporate tax concessions in the New Year, CNBC notes.
Korea's KOSPI was down 0.6, which was attributed in part to losses of between 1.3-1.5 percent for major steelmaker Posco and Hyundai Motor.
Chinese indexes slumped following the release of figures reflecting an 18-month low in manufacturing statistics; the blow was softened following Chinese authorities' announcement of measures to stimulate the economy.
The closing out of positions and general decline in trading activity is said to be related in part to traditional year-end jitters. Tokyo-based money manager Takashi Aoki told Bloomberg that "with the holidays coming up, investors are wanting to sell out of some positions to limit any risk of bad news coming out while the market is closed."