Asian stocks mixed after Wall St. dip

14-Nov-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 9:56 AM Print This Post

Asian markets were mixed Thursday November 13 after a record-breaking rally on Wall Street finally came to an end, while China released another batch of disappointing data indicating a slowdown in the economic giant.

Japanese shares extended their run upwards thanks to the weaker yen, with attention turning to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as speculation swirls that he may put off a planned sales tax hike and call a snap general election.

Tokyo jumped 1.14 percent, or 195.74 points, to 17,392.79 and Hong Kong added 0.34 percent, or 81.76 points, to 24,019.94.

But Sydney slipped 0.37 percent, or 20.35 points, to close at 5,442.7, while Seoul gave up 0.36 percent, or 7.24 points, to 1,960.30.

Shanghai fell 0.35 percent, or 8.87 points, to 2,485.61.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said growth in industrial output slipped to 7.7 percent year on year in October, from 8.0 percent the previous month and below forecasts of 8.0 percent.

In the same month retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, increased a less-than-expected 11.5 percent. Fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 15.9 percent in the first 10 months, below the 16.0 percent tipped.

The figures are the latest showing the world’s No.2 economy and key driver of global and regional growth is slowing despite easing measures from Beijing.

China headwinds

Nomura economists said the figures suggest “headwinds from the property market correction, severe overcapacity in many upstream industries and an overleveraged corporate sector are very strong.”

They added: “The efficacy of policy easing may have lessened.”

Wall Street’s Dow and S&P 500 dipped on profit-taking and after US, British and Swiss regulators levied more than $4.0 billion in fines on six of the world’s largest banks–including three US lenders–for manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

But analysts said the losses were not too bad, highlighting the general strength of confidence in US markets at the moment.

The Dow edged down 0.02 percent and the S&P 500 fell 0.07 percent. However, the Nasdaq added 0.31 percent to sit at highs not seen since March 2000.

The Nikkei continued a rally from the end of last month that has been fueled by the Bank of Japan’s widened stimulus program, which in effect prints money, sending the yen tumbling against the dollar.

On Thursday the greenback bought 115.62 yen, compared with 115.52 yen in New York. The US unit on Tuesday touched above 116 yen for the first time since 2007.

The euro bought $1.2463 and 144.12 yen against $1.2438 and 143.70 yen.

Traders are keeping tabs on any comments from Abe following reports that he is considering delaying next October’s sales tax hike after a similar increase in April put the brakes on a nascent economic recovery.

Major newspapers in Japan reported that he may also call a snap election next month if he decides to put off the second tax increase. His ruling coalition would likely win the poll, which would be greeted positively by the market and trigger fresh yen-selling, analysts said.

On oil markets US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery fell 23 cents to $76.95 while Brent crude was down 52 cents at $79.86 in afternoon trade.

Gold was at $1,158.06 an ounce, compared with $1,163.87 late Wednesday.

In other markets:

— Mumbai declined 0.24 percent, or 68.26 points, to end at 27,940.64.

Sesa Sterlite fell 2.50 percent to 235.80 rupees, while IT giant Infosys rose 1.77 percent to 4,181.10 rupees.

— Bangkok rose 0.97 percent, or 15.18 points, to 1,577.21.

Oil company PTT gained 2.88 percent to 393 baht, while Bangchak Petroleum soared 5.84 percent to 36.25 baht.

— Singapore closed up 0.65 percent, or 21.22 points, to 3,304.93.

Singapore Telecom rose 1.30 percent to Sg$3.90, while DBS Bank gained 1.25 percent to Sg$19.50.

— Jakarta closed slightly down 0.003 percent, or 0.17 points, at 5,048.67.

Cement maker Semen Indonesia rose 0.81 percent to 15,600 rupiah, while Bank Permata fell 0.34 percent to 1,455 rupiah.

— Kuala Lumpur ended flat at 1,815.81, falling just 0.43 points, or 0.02 percent.

Malayan Banking shed 0.4 percent to 9.61 ringgit, while conglomerate IOI lost 0.8 percent to 4.74.

— Taipei rose 0.69 percent, or 61.72 points, to 8,980.67.

Hon Hai added 2.08 percent to Tw$98.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 1.52 percent higher at Tw$134.0.

— Wellington eased 0.46 percent, or 25.14 points, to 5,462.74.

Spark was down 1.54 percent at NZ$3.19 and Contact Energy slipped 1.41 percent to NZ$6.28.

— Manila was 0.47 percent lower, easing 34.24 points to 7,198.63.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. was unchanged at 2,996 pesos while Ayala Land fell 0.99 percent to 35 pesos.

AMERICA: Stocks wavered between small gains and losses on Thursday to close little changed as traders weighed generally strong earnings reports against the falling fortunes of energy companies.

Indexes rose from the opening of trading following encouraging quarterly results from Wal-Mart Stores and the media giant Viacom, then flitted up and down most of the day. After four weeks of healthy gains for stocks and a series of record daily closes, the tepid trading was not unexpected.

“After a move higher so far, so fast, the market needs a pause,” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial. “We need another catalyst to move higher.”

All three major US indexes closed higher after a late-afternoon rally. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.59 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,652.79, a record. It was the seventh record close for the blue-chip index in eight trading days.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.08 points, or less than a tenth of a percentage point, to 2,039.33. The Nasdaq composite rose 5.01 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,680.14.

A slump in the energy sector held back the overall market as oil prices continued to slump over fears that supplies will outstrip demand. Benchmark US crude lost 4 percent and is trading at a four-year low.

Energy stocks closed down 1.4 percent. They had fallen more 2 percent, but got a boost by a late-day report from the Wall Street Journal that Halliburton is in talks to buy rival oil-field service company, Baker Hughes, citing unnamed sources. Baker Hughes soared $7.77, or 15 percent, to $58.75.

In other deal news, DreamWorks Animation jumped 14 percent on a New York Times report that the toy maker Hasbro is trying to buy the movie studio. And Berkshire Hathaway, run by billionaire Warren Buffett, said it was buying the Duracell battery business from Procter & Gamble in a deal valued at about $3 billion.

Jim Russell, a portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor, an investment firm, said the deal making helped keep stocks positive for the day.

“It’s another source of demand for stocks, and presumably from smart buyers,” he said. “It’s lent some optimism to the market.”

Among other stocks making big moves:

— Wal-Mart jumped $3.74 to $82.94 after reporting earnings and revenue that were higher than financial analysts had expected. The 4.7 percent gain was the biggest in the Dow.

— Viacom, which owns the Paramount studio, MTV and VH1, rose $1.95, or 2.8 percent, to $71.20 after its results topped forecasts.

— Amazon rose 1.6 percent following news that it had resolved a bitter, long-running dispute with the book publisher Hachette. Amazon stock gained $4.97 to $316.48.

Benchmark US crude fell $2.97 to close at $74.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many US refineries, fell $2.46 to close at $77.92 a barrel, also a 4-year low, on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the NYMEX:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 10.5 cents to close at $2.002 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 8.5 cents to close at $2.362 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 20.8 cents to close at $3.977 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In metals trading, the price of gold edged up $2.40 to $1,161.50 an ounce. Silver was flat at $15.62 an ounce and copper fell three cents to $2.99 a pound.

US government bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.34 percent from 2.36 percent on Wednesday.

<pre>Benchmark Currency Rates

USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD

USD

1.2456 0.0086 1.5675 1.0363 0.8784 0.8699 0.1290

EUR

0.8028 0.0069 1.2584 0.8319 0.7052 0.6984 0.1035

JPY

115.9400 144.3900 181.7370 120.1390 101.8360 100.8460 14.9499

GBP

0.6379 0.7946 0.0055 0.6611 0.5604 0.5549 0.0823

CHF

0.9650 1.2020 0.0083 1.5127 0.8477 0.8394 0.1244

CAD

1.1384 1.4180 0.0098 1.7846 1.1797 0.9903 0.1468

AUD

1.1496 1.4319 0.0099 1.8020 1.1913 1.0098 0.1482

HKD

7.7550 9.6595 0.0669 12.1564 8.0361 6.8121 6.7458

Source: Bloomberg

 


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