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Greece debt crisis: Asian markets fall



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Asian shares have tumbled and the euro has slid after Greece failed to strike a deal with its creditors at the weekend and imposed capital controls.

The euro fell below $1.10 at one point, from around $1.1165 on Friday, before recovering some ground.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 share index closed down 2.9% at 20,109.95

China saw another day of volatile trade, with the Shanghai Composite falling by more than 7% at one point before closing down 3.3% at 4,053.03.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index finished 2.6% lower at 25,966.98.

China's shares fell despite a surprise rate cut by the central bank on Saturday.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 2.23% at 5,422.50, while in South Korea, the benchmark Kospi ended 1.4% lower at 2,060.49 - its biggest daily percentage fall since late May.

Greece risks default and moving closer to a possible exit from the 19-member eurozone.

The country is due to make a €1.6bn payment to the IMF on Tuesday - the same day that its current bailout expires.

Last week, talks between Greece and the eurozone countries over bailout terms ended without an agreement, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras then called for a referendum on the issue to be held on 5 July.

At the weekend, the Greek government confirmed that banks would be closed all week, after a decision by the European Central Bank not to extend emergency funding.

Economist Daniel Martin from Capital Economics told the BBC the current situation was "the closest Greece had come to exiting the eurozone" and that it was likely to be a bad week for Asian markets.

Greek banks are expected to stay shut until 7 July, two days after Greece's planned referendum on the terms it had been offered by international creditors for receiving fresh bailout money.

China rate cut

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Image caption Investors will be watching shares closely in China this week after the rate cut

On Saturday, China's central bank cut its one-year lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.85%. It is the bank's fourth cut since November. It also lowered the amount of cash that some banks must hold as reserves by 50 basis points.

Analysts said the moves highlighted Beijing's concerns that money was not flowing to some of the most-needed sectors in the economy. Others said the bank had reacted to Friday's share plunge, which saw the Shanghai Composite close down more than 7%.

Chinese investment holding company, Legend Holdings, made its trading debut in Hong Kong after raising more than $1.9bn in its initial share offering. The firm has a wide range of interests including in IT, agriculture and real estate, and is the parent company of Lenovo.

Japan numbers

In Japan, official figures showed retail sales grew by 1.7% in May from a month earlier - the fastest rate of growth since September last year.

However, other figures showed Japan's industrial production fell by 4% in May from a year earlier.

"The plunge in industrial production in May points to a contraction in GDP (gross domestic product) this quarter," said economist Marcel Thieliant from Capital Economics.

"[This] corroborates our view that the Bank of Japan will have to step up the pace of easing before too long."

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