NO WORRIES: There will be cheers as Ireland exits its financial bailout, but it is feared that the most vulnerable will still suffer from austerity measures. (Peter Muhly, AFP)
In other news
The rand has fallen to its weakest this week, mirroring a sell-off in risky assets as the market awaits producer inflation data as well as key US economic data.
Shares have fallen for a second straight session, with trading volumes starting to thin out ahead of the Christmas holidays.
US stocks have tumbled in a decline that analysts attributed to profit-taking after the equity market surge of 2013.
Oil prices have eased in Asian trade on a mixed US inventory report indicating tepid demand, while expectations of a return of Libyan supplies also weighed.
Asian markets have eased, following a lead from Wall Street, as investors turn their focus to next week's Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Mexico's senate has given general approval to controversial legislation to open the state-controlled energy sector to foreign investment.
Tokyo stocks have fallen 1.61%, following losses on Wall Street, while speculation swirls that the Federal Reserve will start scaling back its stimulus programme.
Hong Kong stocks have ended the morning session 0.52% lower, following losses on Wall Street as investors look ahead to a US Federal Reserve meeting next week.