Asian markets fell yesterday Tuesday June 1 as data indicating China’s economy could be slowing down raised concerns for the global recovery, while the European debt problem continued to weigh on sentiment.
With markets in New York and London closed on Monday for public holidays, dealers looked to China, where figures showing manufacturing activity had eased led to a sell-off after recent gains.
Concerns over the eurozone were still evident as dealers fret that the region’s debt crisis could spread globally.
TOKYO: Nikkei ended 0.58 percent, or 56.87 points, lower at 9,711.83 and Shanghai closed 0.92 percent, or 23.86 points, lower at 2,568.28.
Official data showed China’s purchasing managers index (PMI) had slipped in May to 53.9 from 55.7 in April, while a separate PMI study by HSBC revealed a drop to 52.7 from a revised 55.2 the previous month. A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while below 50 indicates an overall decline.
“Previously, investors were just concerned about the tightening policies, but now they are worried that economic growth may seriously slow down,” Amy Lin, an analyst at Capital Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
A slowdown in China would have a massive impact on Asian markets as the country is a major export destination for several regional economies which rely on its voracious appetite to help their recovery.
SYDNEY ended down 0.37 percent after the central Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates on hold at 4.5 percent.
HONG KONG: Shares tumbled yesterday after data showed manufacturing in China eased in May, indicating a slowdown in the world’s third biggest economy.
The Hang Seng Index fell 1.36 percent, or 268.24 points, to close at 19,496.95.
“What concerns the market is PMI in June is expected to slow down further,” Shi Weixiang, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
However, Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia Securities, expects the Hang Seng to rise in June.
SINGAPORE: Stocks fell yesterday as eurozone worries prompted investors to reduce their stakes in risky assets.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 1.35 percent, or 37.16 points, to 2,715.44.
KUALA LAMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia slipped into sideways consolidation yesterday. Declining counters out-paced advancing counters by 487 to 200.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) fell from its intra-day high of 1,284.25 to its intra-day low of 1,274.56 yesterday. It closed at 1,282.97, giving a day-on-day loss of 2.04 points, or 0.16 percent.
In other markets:
SEOUL closed 0.66 percent, or 10.85 points, lower at 1,630.40.
TAIPEI fell 1.15 percent, or 84.65 points, to close at 7,289.33.
JAKARTA fell 2.59 percent, or 72.35 points, to 2,724.61.
MANILA closed 0.19 percent, or 6.11 points lower at 3,266.62.
BANGKOK fell 1.27 percent, or 9.51 points, to close at 740.92.
MUMBAI fell 2.20 percent, or 372.60 points, to 16,572.03.
VIETNAM: The VN Index resumed 1.24 points or 0.24 percent to end at 508.68 points with the total matching order trade of over 35.9 million shares valued at over 1.123 trillion dong.
The HNX Index lost 0.69 points or 0.42 percent to end at only 162.91 points.
The total trading volume reached 31.64 million shares worth over 1.044 trillion dong.
EUROPE: European shares recovered from steep losses to close slightly higher yesterday, as strong US data helped to ease investors’ worries about the global economic recovery, though BP fell heavily.
“People will continue to look to economic data to see how the recovery is panning out, as opposed to just rumours and fear, which have been driving the market in the last month or so,” said a strategist at City Index.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.2 percent to close at 1,002.80 points, having been down as much as 2 percent earlier.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares was down 0.49 percent at 5,163.3 points.
In Paris, the CAC 40 slipped 0.13 percent to 3,503.08 points but in Frankfurt the DAX gained 0.28 percent to 5,981.27 points.
AMERICA: Stocks took another late-day dive Tuesday after the government said it was starting criminal and civil investigations into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The Dow fell 112.61, or 1.1 percent, to 10,024.02. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 18.70, or 1.7 percent, to 1,070.71, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 34.71, or 1.5 percent, to 2,222.33.
About four stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 5.3 billion shares compared with 5.1 billion Friday. Volume was light because some traders were away for a long Memorial Day holiday. Light volume can intensify swings in the market.
Bond prices rose, sending interest rates lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.27 percent from 3.29 percent late Friday.
The dollar rose against most other major currencies, while gold rose. Crude oil fell $1.39 to $72.58 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 20.65, or 3.1 percent, to 640.96.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7926 9.5187 0.0855 11.4283 6.7382 7.3867 6.4901 AUD 1.2007 1.4667 0.0132 1.7609 1.0382 1.1382 0.1541 CAD 1.055 1.2886 0.0116 1.5471 0.9122 0.8786 0.1354 CHF 1.1565 1.4127 0.0127 1.6961 1.0963 0.9632 0.1484 GBP 0.6819 0.8329 0.0075 0.5896 0.6464 0.5679 0.0875 JPY 91.15 111.339 133.676 78.8161 86.4022 75.9143 11.6969 EUR 0.8187 0.009 1.2006 0.7079 0.776 0.6818 0.1051 USD 1.2215 0.011 1.4666 0.8647 0.9479 0.8328 0.1283 Bloomberg