Greece made last-minute overtures to its international creditors for financial aid on Tuesday, but it was not enough to save the country from becoming the first developed economy to default on a €1.6 billion loan with the IMF. The Greek government had asked European partners for a 2-year aid package to cover its financing needs.
Late on Tuesday, the IMF said it would examine a Greek request for a payment extension in due course.
The Euro got off to a cautious start in Asia on Wednesday; the common currency eased 0.2%, having suffered a 0.8% drop on Tuesday. In commodities, oil eased back a touch after bouncing strongly on Tuesday to end the quarter with hefty gains. Analysts said that the situation in Greece and a rise in Iraqi output were both factors weighing on prices.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector expanded slightly in June, an official survey showed on Wednesday, offering some signs that the world's 2nd largest economy may be starting to level out after a raft of support measures. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 50.2 in June, even with the previous month's reading. But growth remained tepid, with the reading just above the 50 point level that separates contraction from expansion on a monthly basis.