Investing.com

Investing.com - Asian markets traded down at the end of the week led by South Korea as concerns of over the health of a Portuguese lender shocked global markets.



Japan''s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3% and South Korea''s KOSPI was down 0.8% and Australia''s S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2%.



The decline in Asia folowed U.S. stocks, which fell on reports Portugal''s largest bank missed payments to bondholders, which sparked concerns that banking sectors in the euro zone periphery may be in trouble.



The Dow 30 fell 0.42%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.41%, while them NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.52%.



The parent company of Portugal''s largest bank, Banco Espirito Santo (LISBON:BES), said it missed payments on commercial paper to a few clients, which spooked markets by fueling concerns surrounding the soundness of the banking sectors in Portugal as well as in Spain and Italy.



Elsewhere, weak euro zone factory data rattled nerves in stock markets across the globe, including in the U.S.



Italy''s industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.2% in May from April, defying expectations for a 0.2% expansion, while French industrial production plunged 1.7% in May, also confounding expectations for a 0.2% gain.



Meanwhile in the U.S., solid jobless claims managed to help bring prices up from earlier lows.



The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 5 declined by 11,000 to 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to hold steady at 315,000 last week.



Elsewhere, Wall Street continued to applaud the Federal Reserve''s June policy meeting minutes released day earlier, which pointed to an October date in which the U.S. central bank''s bond-buying program should end.





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