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Asian shares hit by US Fed fear

/ 11:23 PM July 08, 2013

People walk past an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo, Monday, July 8, 2013. Asian markets fell on Monday after a better-than-expected rise in US job creation fueled concerns the Federal Reserve will soon start to reel in its huge stimulus program. AP PHOTO/SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI

HONG KONG—Asian markets fell on Monday after a better-than-expected rise in US job creation fueled concerns the Federal Reserve will soon start to reel in its huge stimulus program.

The dollar edged down a tad after posting strong gains against the yen in New York on Friday following the non-farm payrolls figures, which add to a slew of data indicating the world’s top economy is strengthening.

Tokyo fell 1.40 percent, or 200.63 points, to 14,109.34 despite the weakening yen, while Seoul slipped 0.90 percent, or 16.46 points, to 1,816.85 and Sydney gave up 0.67 percent, or 32.3 points, to 4,809.5.


Hong Kong fell 1.31 percent, or 272.48 points, to 20,582.19 while Shanghai lost 2.44 percent, or 48.93 points, to end at 1,958.27.

The Labor Department said Friday the US economy added 195,000 jobs in June, well above the consensus estimate of 166,000 jobs.

While the announcement shows the US recovery is gaining traction, investors fear the Fed will now start cutting back its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying that has been credited with fueling a rally in global markets.

When the central bank unveiled the scheme in September to keep interest rates down it said it would keep it in place until the economy was able to support itself and when unemployment had fallen.

The news hit indexes in emerging markets such as the Philippines and Indonesia amid fears of an outflow of foreign cash as the US supply of money is turned off.

However, Wall Street welcomed the news. The Dow climbed 0.98 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.02 percent and the Nasdaq added 1.04 percent.

The chance that there will be fewer dollars pumped into the financial system and the likelihood of interest rates rising sent the greenback higher in New York, climbing to 101.14 yen on Friday, from 100.21 yen earlier in the day in Asian trade.

The dollar was at 101.15 yen in European trade on Monday.


The euro, which came under pressure last week after the European Central Bank said it would keep rates at record lows for “as long as necessary,” bought $1.2852 in European trade, compared with $1.2832 late Friday. It was also at 130.00 yen from 129.78 yen.

In Seoul Asiana Airlines fell 5.76 percent after one of its planes crashed while landing in San Francisco at the weekend, killing two passengers and injuring 182 more.

Oil prices slipped. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, fell 12 cents to $103.10 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August lost 39 cents to $107.33.

Gold was at $1,231.80 per ounce at 1055 GMT, compared with $1,239.70 late Friday.

In other markets:

— Taipei fell 1.44 percent, or 115.48 points, to 7,886.34.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 3.67 percent to Tw$105.0 while smartphone maker HTC tumbled 7.0 percent to Tw$189.0.

— Manila slumped 2.79 percent, or 181.57 points, to 6,318.91.

Ayala Land fell 3.17 percent to 29 pesos while SM Investments dropped 4.38 percent to 851 pesos.

— Wellington was flat, edging up 3.43 points to 4,493.30.

Chorus added 0.76 percent to NZ$2.65 and Contact Energy rose 2.47 percent to NZ$5.40 but Fletcher Building was off 2.2 percent at NZ$8.43.

— Singapore slipped 0.45 percent, or 14.26 points, to close at 3,155.47.

Agribusiness company Wilmar International was down 0.96 percent at Sg$3.11 while real estate developer Capitaland shed 0.33 percent to Sg$3.05.

— Jakarta closed down 3.68 percent, or 169.18 points, at 4,433.63 points.

Asia Pacific Fibers fell 11.01 percent to 97 rupiah, while Bank Permata rose 1.27 percent to 1,600 rupiah.

— Bangkok fell 2.55 percent, or 36.69 points, to 1,404.64.

Coal producer Banpu plunged 5.56 percent to 221 baht, while Bangkok Bank lost 4.30 percent to 189 baht.

— Kuala Lumpur fell 0.53 percent, or 9.40 points, to close at 1,762.87.

AMMB Holdings slid 1.7 percent to 7.52 ringgit and RHB Capital shed 1.2 percent to 8.40 ringgit.

— Mumbai slid 0.88 percent, or 171.05 points, to 19,324.77 points.

State-run oil explorer ONGC fell 3.49 percent to 304.45 rupees while vehicle maker Tata Motors fell 2.70 percent to 288.20 rupees.

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