Asian stocks slide after US earnings disappoint

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A currency trader walks by near a screen showing foreign exchange rate at the foreign exchange dealing room of the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on Oct. 10, 2012. AP FILE PHOTO

BANGKOK – Asian stock markets fell Monday, responding to disappointing corporate earnings out of the U.S. last week and a widening trade deficit in Japan.

Disappointing results from Wall Street giants Microsoft, General Electric and McDonald’s surprised traders and caused U.S. stocks to finish lower on Friday.

Markets may stay subdued ahead of the release later in the week of key data out of the U.S., including new home sales, durable goods orders and third-quarter GDP figures, analysts said.

The U.S. presidential election and developments in the eurozone debt crisis were also likely to keep investors cautious, analysts said.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 percent to 8,928.49. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.1 percent at 1,923.20 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent to 4,536.50. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bucked the trend, rising 0.1 percent to 21,582.15.

A widening trade deficit in Japan also took a toll on markets. Exports plummeted 10 percent from a year ago, hurt by a strong Japanese yen and various economic crises in Europe, a major destination for Japanese goods.

Benchmark oil for November delivery fell 1 cent to $90.04 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $2.05 to end at $90.05 per barrel in New York on Friday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3039 from $1.3023 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose slightly to 79.29 yen from 79.27 yen.

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