Asia shares slip after week’s rallies

15-Feb-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Asian shares fell on profit-taking Thursday following four strong sessions as a rally on Wall Street fizzled out, but Sydney pared earlier losses caused by data showing Australian unemployment at a 10-year high.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index lost 265.32 points or 1.79 percent to end at 14,534.74, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was off 1.63 percent, or 19.86 points, at 1,199.74.

The Nikkei could be stuck below the 16,000 level unless there is a surge in confidence over the US economy, said Nomura Securities chief strategist for Japan Hiromichi Tamura.

But he added that buoyant Japanese corporate earnings would provide support.

“I expect range-bound trading for a while – what we need is confidence in the US economy,” Tamura told Dow Jones Newswires.

Toyota fell 2.14 percent to 5,891 yen, Sony lost 2.03 percent to finish at 1,729 yen and Nintendo fell 3.69 percent to 11,715 yen.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index eased 120.26 points or 0.54 percent to 22,165.53 while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 11.56 points to 2,098.40.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, dropped 1.68 percent, or 19.11 points, to 1,119.93.

Both markets had gained more than three percent since reopening Friday after the Lunar New Year break, with better-than-forecast trade figures Wednesday providing support.

In Hong Kong, HSBC rose 0.43 percent to HK$81.35, Internet firm Tencent added 0.37 percent to HK$540, China Mobile was 1.22 percent down at HK$73.05 and lender ICBC slipped 1.24 percent to HK$4.76.

Energy giant CNOOC eased 2.31 percent to HK$12.66 and Cathay Pacific Airways was 2.90 percent lower at HK$15.42.

Market players will be looking to the release in Beijing on Friday of inflation data.

Sydney was flat, dipping 2.0 points to 5,308.1. Seoul gave up 0.46 percent, or 8.88 points, to end at 1,926.96.

Sydney shares were hit after the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the jobless rate rose to 6.0 percent in January – its worst level since July 2003 – from 5.8 percent in December.

The rise comes as the government struggles to manage a bumpy economic transition from a decade-long Asia-led mining investment boom.

– Dollar sinks against yen –

The euro bought $1.3626 and 139.11 yen compared with $1.3593 and 139.33 yen in US trade.

On oil markets West Texas Intermediate for March delivery eased 61 cents to $99.76, while Brent for March delivery was down 24 cents at $108.55.

Gold fetched $1,290.45 an ounce at 1050 GMT compared with $1,287.42 late Wednesday.

In other markets:

– Singapore closed 0.15 percent, or 4.45 points, higher at 3,039.90. SingTel rose 1.7 percent to Sg$3.57 while Keppel Corp fell 1.33 percent to Sg$10.39.

– Bangkok slipped 0.17 percent, or 2.19 points, to 1,311.87.

Charoen Pokphand Foods dropped 4.59 percent to 26.00 baht, while telecoms company True Corporation fell 2.70 percent to 7.20 baht.

– Kuala Lumpur slid 8.49 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,817.15.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong ended 2.9 percent lower at 23.52 ringgit while Felda Global Ventures shed 1.6 percent to 4.46. Guinness Anchor Berhad climbed 1.6 percent to 15.08 ringgit.

– Jakarta edged down 0.10 percent, or 4.63 points, to 4,491.66.

Bank Negara Indonesia rose 0.12 percent to 4,315 rupiah, while state miner Aneka Tambang fell 1.93 percent to 1,015 rupiah.

– Taipei fell 0.51 percent, or 43.17 points, to 8,467.70.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was unchanged at Tw$105.0, while leading chip design house MediaTek dropped 1.15 percent to Tw$429.0.

– Wellington was flat, edging up 5.56 points to 4,873.53.

Air New Zealand added 0.29 percent to NZ$1.70 and Telecom was 1.26 percent higher at NZ$2.42.

– Manila closed 0.17 percent lower, dipping 10.59 points to 6,101.72.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust closed 0.56 percent lower at 79.55 pesos while SM prime Holdings fell 2.26 percent to 14.70 pesos.

– Mumbai fell 1.25 percent, or 255.14 points, to 20,193.35.


Category: FinanceAsia

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