Asian Markets: Banking shares dive as Japan Airlines seeks debt relief


Stock markets in Asia were mixed today with the Nikkei Index falling 0.2 percent to close at 10,060 -- its first drop in six days. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index advanced 2 percent, ending the day at 21,886 and China's Shanghai Composite Index added 1.2 percent, rising to 2,971.

Japan Airlines Corp. (JALSY) slid 3.8 percent in Tokyo, taking banking shares with it on the news that, according to MarketWatch, it plans to ask for debt relief of $3.4 billion in loans, taking advantage of the government's rehabilitation plan, which includes loan waivers. Among the airline's lenders are state-owned Development Bank of Japan, Mizuho Financial Group (MFG), which plunged 4.8 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU), which fell 3.2 percent, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFJY), which tumbled 4.7 percent.