HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly fell yesterday, with dealers spooked by an election result in Italy that left no clear winner, leading to political uncertainty and fresh fears about eurozone stability.
The dollar and euro clawed back some of the losses suffered in US trade as investors absorbed the Italian results, while there was also concern about the lack of progress in Washington to avoid spending cuts due to take effect Friday.
Tokyo tumbled 2.26 per cent, or 263.71 points, to 11,398.81.
Sydney shed 1.03 per cent, or 52.2 points, to 5,003.6, and Seoul lost 0.47 per cent, or 9.51 points, to close at 2,000.01.
tumbled 1.40 per cent, or 32.48 points, to 2,293.34.
The split vote in Italy wiped out the yen's Monday losses that were fuelled by reports Japan's government is likely to nominate a man to run the central bank who is in favour of more aggressive monetary easing.
Traders are also keeping an eye on US lawmakers to see if they can muster an agreement to avoid the imposition of US$85 billion in budget cuts - known as the sequester - that will come in on Friday.
Analysts have warned that if less drastic cuts are not agreed, the still-fragile economy could slip back into recession.
In other markets: * Taipei
fell 0.84 per cent, or 66.78 points, to 7,880.9.* Manila
closed 1.35 per cent lower, giving up 90.66 points to 6,630.67.* Wellington
closed 0.30 per cent, or 12.47 points, higher at 4,238.92.* Jakarta
ended down 0.70 per cent, or 33.08 points, at 4,663.03.* Bangkok
lost 0.64 per cent, or 9.81 points, to 1,530.32.* Mumbai
slid 1.64 per cent, or 316.55 points, to a three-month low of 19,015.14. AFP