Asian markets mostly fell yesterday Friday August 10 as weak Chinese trade data reinforced concerns of a slowdown in the world’s number two economy, while profit-taking after a week-long rally added to selling pressure.
Wall Street provided a weak lead despite upbeat US jobs and trade data that indicated a positive outlook for the world’s number one economy.
Tokyo stocks fell on profit-taking following a four-day winning streak. The Nikkei 225 Index eased 87.16 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 8,891.44.
But the index “is likely to remain resilient, with investors paying attention to a raft of US economic indicators” to see whether the dollar is going to strengthen against the yen, a supportive cue for local shares, Monex Inc chief strategist Takashi Hiroki told Dow Jones Newswires.
Chinese shares closed down 0.24 per cent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 5.29 points to 2,168.81. The index, however, rose 1.69 per cent for the week.
“The economy is in a worse state than expected, and investors are looking for any signals from the central bank on whether it will take measures to boost the economy,” Capital Securities analyst Jacky Zhang said.
Sydney shed 0.72 per cent, or 30.9 points, to 4,277.3 but Seoul advanced 0.30 per cent, or 5.81 points, to 1,946.40.
HONG KONG: SHARES fell yesterday after weak Chinese trade figures reinforced concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index slipped 0.66 per cent, or 133.35 points to end at 20,136.12. The losses were compounded by profit-taking after the index rose 7.4 per cent over the previous 11 sessions.
Sourcing company Li & Fung slumped 19.3 per cent to HK$12.90 after saying on Thursday that core operating profit dropped 22 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2012.
SINGAPORE: SOUTHEAST Asian stock markets ended mostly firmer yesterday, with Indonesia near a three-month high led by financials and on large foreign inflows.
The region’s markets were down in early trade due to weak Chinese trade data for July, but recouped losses later in the day.
Singapore stocks ended flat. The benchmark Straits Times Index nudged up 1.95 points to 3,054.20.
Among the active stocks, Keppel Corp. gained 1.51 pe rcent to S$11.40 and Fraser and Neave added 0.94 per cent to S$8.57.
KUALA LUMPUR: SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia rebounded to close higher yesterday due to eleventh hour buying of heavyweights ahead of the weekend, dealers said.
Gains on heavyweights shored up the index which ended 2.84 points better at a high of 1,645.36.
Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Edmund Tham said some selective buying may have driven the market in the last 10 minutes before the market closed.
In other markets:
* Taipei climbed 0.10 per cent, or 7.42 points, to 7,441.12.
* Manila closed 0.13 per cent higher, adding 6.74 points to 5,263.35.
* Jakarta climbed 0.25 per cent, or 10.39 points, to 4,141.56.
* Bangkok rose 0.14 per cent, or 1.67 points, to 1,219.37.
* Mumbai closed down 0.02 per cent or 3.13 points at 17,557.74.
VIETNAM: Vietnamese shares ended down today as traders took profit after recent rally.
The benchmark VN Index lost 1.42 points or 0.33% to 425.56. Volume fell 13% to 37.4 million shares worth of VND712.1 billion. Put through trading contribute 5.9 million shares worth of VND237.8 billion.
The market breadth turned negative on the primary bourse where 72 stocks advanced, 154 declined, 83 closed unchanged.
The VN30 fell 1.98 points or 0.39%, to 506.6. Amongst its 30 members, 3 gained, 18 lost and 9 unchanged.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX lost 0.45 point or 0.64% to 70.34. Trading volume rose 16.2% to 45.9 million shares worth VND372.8 billion.
The market breadth was negative where 62 rallied, 144 declined, 74 closed unmoved, the rest untraded.
HNX30 lost 1.14 points or 0.84% to 134.84.
EUROPE: European shares fell yesterday after a five-day winning streak, as weak Chinese economic data and declines in bellwether Swiss food group Nestle pushed markets down from four-month peaks.
The FTSEurofirst 300 indexwas 0.4 per cent lower at 1,096.85 points at mid-day, while the Euro STOXX 50 index declined by 0.7 per cent to 2,420.84 points.
London’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.08 per cent to 5,846.37 points in morning deals, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 dropped 0.37 per cent to 6,939.68 and the Paris CAC 40 slipped 0.76 per cent at 3,430.51 points.
Traders have started to recommend booking profits, due to the underlying weak global economic backdrop and the ever-present risk that Europe’s leaders may fail to agree on concrete measures to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
AMERICA: The market had a wishy-washy Friday, capping an equally directionless week.
Stocks inched down for most of the day. Then, with 45 minutes of trading left, the Dow Jones industrial average turned positive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq composite soon followed. All ended the day slightly higher.
In a week with no major developments in Europe’s debt crisis, and no surprising reports on the U.S. economy, the market struggled to figure out which way to go. The three indexes rose incrementally on Monday and Tuesday and were mixed on Wednesday and Thursday.
In a market that has grown used to triple-digit swings on the Dow, this week brought none the first time since early May that that’s happened. It was a marked change from the same week a year ago. Back then, the Dow swung by triple digits every day, including one plunge of 634 points, after a downgrade of the U.S. debt rating. This week, the biggest move was a measly 51-point rise on Tuesday.
To be sure, stocks have risen fairly steadily since the U.S. debt downgrade last August. Compared to a year ago, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 23 percent.
Friday, the Dow ended up 42.76 points at 13,207.95. The S&P 500 rose 3.07 to 1,405.87. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.22 to 3,020.86.
But the stock market’s relative good cheer doesn’t necessarily mean the underlying economy is improving. Instead, the market gains are more a sign that central banks like the Federal Reserve are still willing to artificially prop up the economy, said Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading outside Boston.
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