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Most Asian shares mixed after Wall St. tumble

/ 08:07 PM June 13, 2011

HONG KONG—(UPDATE) Asian stocks were mixed Monday as more heavy selling on Wall Street, a stronger yen and Chinese economic fears were tempered by gains in Seoul and Hong Kong, which both broke long losing streaks.

Tokyo fell 0.70 percent, or 66.23 points, to 9,448.21 and Shanghai shed 0.18 percent, or 4.76 points, to 2,700.38.

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But Seoul edged up 0.10 percent, or 2.07 points, to 2,048.74 and Hong Kong closed 0.39 percent higher, adding 87.71 points to 22,508.08. Both markets had finished in negative territory for the previous seven sessions.

Sydney was closed for a public holiday.

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Markets were subdued as dealers grow increasingly concerned over the state of the global economy, with US data pointing to a slowdown in the recovery there, while China’s growth also looks to be easing.

On Wall Street on Friday the Dow shed 1.42 percent, the S&P 500 lost 1.40 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq lost 1.53 percent.

The Dow has now posted a loss for the past six consecutive weeks for the first time since 2002 as recent jobs data and manufacturing figures suggest the economy is weakening.

In Tokyo on Monday, exporters were weighed as the yen strengthened against the euro amid worries about the European sovereign debt crisis.

The European common currency was sold off after news last week that authorities were looking at a potential Greek debt “rescheduling.”

The euro saw its steepest one-day sell-off for a month on Friday, sliding to 115.23 yen from 116.42 yen the previous day.

In early European trade Monday the single currency was at 115.31 yen.

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“The current level of the euro still is too high for us,” said Daisuke Karakama, market economist at the forex division of Mizuho Corporate Bank. “It’s not too wise to keep a long position now.”

The Nikkei was also hit by a 2.42 percent loss on Toyota Motor, which was sold after it projected net profit for the fiscal year ending March 31 would drop 31 percent to 280 billion yen, even lower than analysts’ forecasts.

The euro edged down to $1.4342 from $1.4348 late on Friday in New York while the dollar fetched 80.39 yen against 80.31 yen.

The New Zealand dollar tumbled against the greenback after Christchurch was hit by a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake Monday, its third since September.

The “Kiwi” sank to US$0.8128 after hitting a record high US$0.8298 on Friday.

Shanghai shares tumbled because of worries about a liquidity squeeze after figures showed new loans by banks in May fell sharply from the previous month as the government tries to rein in the flood of cash that is stoking inflation.

Lenders handed out 551.6 billion yuan ($85.14 billion) in loans last month, compared with 739.6 billion yuan in April – and 100.5 billion yuan less than a year earlier, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, lost 54 cents to $98.75 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for July was down 27 cents to $118.51 in the afternoon.

Gold closed at $1,530-$1,531 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from Friday’s day’s close of $1,542.70-$1,543.70.

In other markets:

— Singapore closed down 0.63 percent, or 19.31 points, at 3,059.04.

SingTel dipped 0.64 percent to Sg$3.10 and Neptune Orient Lines lost 1.82 percent to Sg$1.62.

— Mumbai was flat, with the benchmark 30-share Sensex index closing down 2.51 points, or 0.01 percent, to 18,266.03.

Investor sentiment was weak with the Reserve Bank of India set to raise interest rates again on Thursday for the 10th time in 16 months to tame stubborn inflation of 8.66 percent.

India’s largest private aluminium producer Hindalco fell 2.22 percent or 4.1 rupees to 180.35 while energy giant Reliance Industries fell 1.84 percent or 17.35 rupees to 926.65.

— Taipei dived 1.41 percent, or 124.87 points, to 8,712.95.

Leading smartphone maker HTC slumped 7 percent to Tw$1.09 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.8 percent lower at Tw$74.7.

— Manila shed 1.14 percent, or 48.04 points, to 4,171.54.

Metropolitan Bank & Trust was down 0.9 percent at 68.50 pesos and SM Investments dipped 0.4 percent to 538 pesos, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone shed 0.1 percent to 2,298 pesos.

— Wellington slipped 0.40 percent, or 13.94 points, to 3,476.68.

The earthquake in Christchurch hit stocks amid rising concerns over the already weak economy. Tower Ltd ended down 2.2 percent at NZ$1.78

— Jakarta fell 1.03 percent, or 38.89 points, to 3,748.75.

Bank Mandiri fell 1.4 percent to 6,900 rupiah, carmaker Astra lost 1.8 percent to 56,400 rupiah and coal producer Bumi closed down 2.9 percent to 3,325 rupiah.

— Kuala Lumpur closed 0.66 percent, or 10.31 points, lower at 1,545.88.

Gaming firm Genting fell 2.7 percent to 11.02 ringgit and banking giant AMMB Holdings lost 2 percent to 6.36 ringgit while Petronas Gas added 1.4 percent to 11.96 ringgit and Public Bank rose 0.3 percent to 13.20 ringgit.

— Bangkok shed 0.47 percent, or 4.84 points, to 1,015.53.

Banpu dropped 8 baht to finish at 712 baht and PTT Plc was down 3baht at 331baht.

Originally posted at 12:40 pm | Monday, June 13th, 2011

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