Asia: Declines on profit-taking, Wall St losses

13-Mar-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 8:09 AM Print This Post

Asian markets sank yesterday Wednesday March 12, 2014, taking their lead from another sell-off on Wall Street, while Tokyo took a hit as the yen climbed against the dollar with profit-takers moving in following last week’s greenback rally.
Despite a small pick-up on Tuesday, regional markets followed Wall Street’s cues in the wake of the weekend’s worse-than-expected trade and inflation data from China.
Tokyo fell 2.59 per cent to finish at 14,830.39 and Sydney fell 0.55 per cent, or 29.6 points, to 5,384.2 while Seoul shed 1.60 per centto 1,932.54.
Shanghai ended down 0.17 per cent at 1,997.69.
With few catalysts to drive business, trade was thin, causing choppiness, dealers said – while focus turned to the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting next week.
Global shares were sent tumbling after Beijing said Saturday it had seen an unexpected trade deficit of US$22.98 billion in February.
The figure compared with a surplus of US$14.8 billion in the same month last year, and a median forecast of an US$11.9 billion surplus. Exports fell 18.1 per cent and imports jumped 10.1 per cent.
The data add to growing worries about the Chinese economy, with the latest surveys on the key manufacturing sector showing weakness.

HONGKONG: SHARES ended 1.65 per cent lower yesterday, in line with a regional sell-off following losses on Wall Street while traders remain nervous about the state of mainland China’s economy.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 367.66 points to 21,901.95 on turnover of HK$78.98 billion.
Media firm ChinaVision jumped 185.94 per cent to HK$1.83, buoyed by e-commerce giant Alibaba announcing it was taking a majority stake in it on Tuesday.
Internet giant Tencent fell 2.51 per cent to HK$602, HSBC lost 0.34 per cent to HK$78.60, and China Mobile sank 1.55 per cent to HK$70.05.

SINGAPORE: THE Straits Times Index (STI) ended 31.97 points, or 1.02 per cent, lower to end the day’s trade at 3097.43 yesterday.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.17 per cent while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index retreated 0.29 per cent.
Of the actives, DBS shrunk 1.25 per cent, UOB slipped 2.05 per cent, SingTel shed 0.83 per cent and Olam went up 1.27 per cent.
The outperforming sector, FTSE ST Utilities added 0.26 per cent.
Of its two biggest stocks, Hyflux lost 0.40 per cent and HanKore advanced 2.99 per cent.

KUALA LUMPUR: SHARES on Bursa Malaysia closed lower yesterday on profit-taking activities, especially in blue-chip counters, dealers said.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 9.95 points to 1,818.6, after moving between 1,813.49 and 1,827.33 points throughout the day.
Losers outpaced gainers 438 to 334, with 332 counters unchanged, 527 untraded and 15 others suspended.
Volume rose to 1.71 billion shares worth RM2.21 billion from 1.7 billion shares valued at RM2.05 billion before.
Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said Bursa mirrored the weak performance of other Asian markets, which was hurt by a stronger yen.
The Plantation Index added 9.3 points to 8,978.07, the Finance Index decreased 107.42 points to 16,359.99, and the Industrial Index fell 12.84 points to 3,173.56.
The FBM Emas lost 66.2 points to 12,612.65, the FBMT100 decreased 71.65 points to 12,277.64, the FBM 70 Index declined 98.59 points to 13,889.37, while the FBM ACE rose 23.62 points to 6,638.97.
Among the actives, Astral Supreme and Wintoni fell one sen each to 20 sen and seven sen, respectively, while KNM-WA rose three sen to 19 sen.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank lost nine sen to RM9.51 and Tenaga Nasional fell four sen to RM11.92.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended lower in tandem with the cash market.
March 2014 lost nine points to 1,813.5, June 2014 fell 11 points to 1,809, and April 2014 and September 2014 eased 10 points each to 1,812 and 1,808.5, respectively.
Turnover rose to 7,470 lots from Tuesday’s 4,074 lots, while open interest increased to 38,423 contracts from 34,798 contracts before.

In other markets:
* Bangkok lost 0.58 per cent to 1,356.42. Construction giant Italian-Thai Development fell 3.59 per cent to 3.76 baht, while Krungthai Card added 4.88 per cent to 32.25 baht.
* Jakarta closed down 0.42 per cent at 4,684.39. Astra Agro Lestari lost 1.35 per cent to 27,450 rupiah, while Semen Indonesia fell 2.10 to 15,125 rupiah.
* Mumbai gained 0.14 per cent to end at 21,856.22 points. Indraprastha Gas rose 5.24 pe rcent or 13.60 rupees to 272.90 rupees a share. L&T Finance Holdings gained 4.99 per cent to 85.20 rupees a share.
* Taipei slipped 0.20 per cent to 8,684.73. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.88 per cent lower at T$113.0 while leading chip design house MediaTek shed 3.90 per cent to T$456.0.
* Wellington gave up 0.11 per cent to 5,096.53. Fletcher Building was down 1.65 per cent at NZ$9.53 and Air New Zealand held steady at NZ$1.835.
* Manila fell 1.03 per cent to 6,462.47. Philippine Long Distance Telephone lost 1.35 per cent to end at 2,782.00 pesos, SM Investments eased 0.97 per cent to 717.00 pesos and Ayala Land gave up 2.73 per cent to 28.50 pesos.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks ended in a mixed note today as investors sold shares to take profit but large caps buoyed the index.
The benchmark VN Index rose 1.52 points or 0.26% to 590.02. Volume rose 9.5% to 177.9 million shares worth of VND3.08 trillion.
Put-through trading contributed 9.2 million shares worth of VND314.11 billion. We saw 3.5 million TSC shares changed hands at the ceiling price and 2.08 million VNS shares changed hands. SSI, HPG, DMP also saw big block deals.
The market breadth was negative with 98 gainers, 143 losers and 51 unchanged.
The VN30 rose 2.23 points or 0.34% to 663.84. Among 30 constituents, 13 gained, 15 fell, 2 stood still.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX bucked trend to close down 0.47 point or 0.56% to 83.17. Trading volume fell 25% to 87.3 million shares worth VND890 billion.
The breadth was negative with 71 gainers, 167 losers, 62 unchanged and the rest untraded.
The HNX30 lost 0.94 point or 0.57% to 166.19.

EUROPE: Europe’s main stock markets depreciated yesterday, with mining shares hit hard by renewed worries over China’s economic outlook, analysts said.
London’s FTSE 100 sank 1.01 per cent to 6,617.87 points in late morning deals in the British capital. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 1.49 per cent to 9,169.32 points and Paris’ CAC 40 slipped 1.56 per cent to 4,282.06 compared with Tuesday’s closing values.
“Deteriorating credit conditions in China are weighing on market sentiment,” said analyst David Madden at trading firm IG.
“Mining stocks have gone from bad to worse. There is speculation that the People’s Bank of China will loosen monetary policy.”

AMERICA: A late rise saved the stock market from a third straight day of losses.

The push was enough to nudge the Standard & Poor’s 500 index into the green by half a point Wednesday, as investors bought up oil refiners, mining companies and technology stocks. Refiners such as Tesoro Corp. led the gains.

Stocks were down for most of the day, but began to crawl back in the afternoon. The S&P 500 index added 0.57 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 1,868.20. The Nasdaq composite also rebounded. It gained 16.14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,323.33. Only the Dow Jones industrial average ended lower. It fell 11.17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,340.08.

The three major U.S. stock indexes are still down for the week. Investors have been worried about a sharp drop in China’s exports reported over the weekend, which raised concerns that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing. Since China is a big consumer of raw materials and energy, commodities such as copper and iron ore have dropped sharply. The S&P 500 index ended lower Monday and Tuesday.

Some strategist say investors are pausing after the market hit three record highs last week.

Among the big winners Wednesday was Tesoro. It rose the most of any stock in the S&P 500 index, climbing $2.13, or 4.1 percent, to $54.50. Marathon Petroleum Corp., added $3.21, or 3.5 percent, to $94.50, while Valero Energy Corp., gained $1.62, or 3 percent, to $55.29.

Investors also took a shine to mining companies as metals prices increased. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. rose 43 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $18.41 and Newmont Mining Corp. rose 66 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $25.01.

Tech giants Google, Microsoft and Facebook also contributed to the day’s gains. Together they make up about 12 percent of the Nasdaq composite. Google rose $7.31, or 0.6 percent, to $1,207.30; Microsoft added 25 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $38.27 and Facebook climbed 78 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $70.88.

Six of the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 index notched small declines, with industrials posting the biggest drop. Utilities rose the most as investors moved money into the relatively low-risk sector.

Among the index’s big decliners were insurer Progressive, which shed 94 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $23.58.

Most of the publicly traded homebuilding companies were trading lower after Credit Suisse issued a broad downgrade on the sector. In addition, new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed home loan applications fell 2.1 percent from a week earlier. Meritage Homes posted the biggest drop among the decliners, shedding 85 cents, or 2 percent, to $44.21.

Herbalife fell $4.82, or 7.4 percent, to $60.57 after the nutrition and supplement maker disclosed that it is facing an inquiry from the Federal Trade Commission. The company made the announcement a day after hedge fund manager William Ackman renewed his attacks on the company. Ackman repeatedly has bet against the company and says he believes it operates as a pyramid scheme.

The state of China’s economy will continue to be a focus.

“We’ve been seeing these periodic, occasional weak data points come out of China,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “And each time that happens when our markets are at … record highs, they’re going to be very sensitive to any sort of negative news and there’ll be days of profit-taking.”

Benchmark Currency Rates



1.3902 0.0097 1.6610 1.1433 0.9000 0.9058 0.1288


0.7193 0.0070 1.1950 0.8225 0.6474 0.6516 0.0927


102.7900 142.8800 170.7340 117.5190 92.5030 93.1090 13.2400


0.6020 0.8369 0.0059 0.6883 0.5418 0.5453 0.0775


0.8746 1.2158 0.0085 1.4529 0.7871 0.7923 0.1127


1.1111 1.5447 0.0108 1.8458 1.2705 1.0064 0.1431


1.1041 1.5346 0.0107 1.8338 1.2622 0.9935 0.1422


7.7636 10.7924 0.0755 12.8965 8.8766 6.9866 7.0318

Source: Bloomberg


Category: FinanceAsia

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