Asian markets lower ahead of key data | Inquirer Business

Asian markets lower ahead of key data

/ 11:57 PM March 05, 2012

HONG KONG—Asian markets slipped on Monday after China said it expects its economic growth to slow further this year, while trade was cautious as investors awaited key data releases around the world this week.

Tokyo fell 0.80 percent, or 78.44 points, to 9,698.59, Sydney shed 0.24 percent, or 10.1 points, to 4,263.0 and Seoul slipped 0.91 percent, or 18.57 points, to 2,016.06.

Hong Kong shed 1.38 percent, or 296.95 points, to 21,265.31 and Shanghai slipped 0.64 percent, or 15.69 points, to 2,445.00.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday that the country was targeting growth of 7.5 percent in 2012, a third straight reduction as the world’s No. 2 economy is buffeted by the ongoing troubles in the West.


Wen’s growth target, announced as he opened the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), follows expansion of 9.2 percent last year and 10.4 percent in 2010.

The “slightly lower” target was aimed at “accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development” as Beijing seeks to reduce its reliance on exports to drive growth with key US and European markets continuing to stumble.

Leaders also set an inflation target of 4.0 percent for the year, unchanged from last year, after consumer prices rose 5.4 percent in 2011.

“The cut has a definite impact on market performance as it let down investors that had hoped for a recovery in the domestic economy,” Shen Jun, an analyst at BOC International, told AFP.

“The market will be subject to a bigger correction if China fails to fulfil market expectations of relaxing control over monetary policies and the domestic property sector (at the parliamentary session),” he added.

While dealers took in Wen’s comments they were also eyeing a string of announcements this week, including a rate decision and jobs figures in Australia and a European Central Bank rate move.


However, the crucial day is Friday with the release of US non-farm payrolls, which will give an indication of the state of recovery in the world’s No. 1 economy following several months of steady growth.

Tim Waterer, senior FX dealer at CMC Markets, said in a note the slew of data due out this week “will set the table for risk appetite near-term.”

He added: “If the market is to be given any new buying impetus to break through current levels, non-farm payrolls shapes as the most likely candidate.”

In Europe the deadline for Greece’s private creditors to write down their debt comes up on Thursday, with leaders hoping to cut 107 billion euros ($141 billion) from the country’s bill.

If the take-up appears on course, eurozone finance ministers will open the purse strings on an associated new financial lifeline for Athens worth 130 billion euros.

On forex markets the euro bought $1.3188 and 107.15 yen in early European trade on Monday, compared with $1.3196 and 107.93 yen in New York late Friday. The dollar edged down to 81.24 yen from 81.78 yen.

Oil prices edged down but remained high as the West’s row with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program continued to linger, stoking fears of a possible conflict.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April, fell three cents to $106.67 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for April settlement was down 28 cents at $123.37.

Gold was at $1,696.80 an ounce at 1000 GMT, compared with $1,715.10 late Friday.

In other markets:

— Singapore was flat, edging down 1.69 points to 2,991.80.

Vehicle distributor Jardine Cycle and Carriage closed 1.31 percent lower at Sg$46.90 while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. shed 0.67 percent to Sg$8.94.

— Taipei closed 1.35 percent, or 109.70 points, lower at 8,004.74.

Leading smartphone maker HTC fell 3.37 percent to Tw$631.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was down 0.50 percent at Tw$78.9.

— Manila closed 0.28 percent, or 14.28 points, up at 5,030.58, a new record.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. gained 0.07 percent to 2,870 pesos while Alliance Global Group Inc. rose 0.33 percent to 12.02 pesos but Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. fell 1.72 percent to 83 pesos.

— Wellington ended 0.36 percent higher, adding 12.03 points to 3,387.84.

Fletcher Building was up 2.2 percent at NZ$6.85 but Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 4.2 percent to NZ$2.25.

— Kuala Lumpur closed 0.34 percent, or 5.44 points, up at 1,589.22.

Financial firm CIMB Group rose 2.05 percent to 7.48 ringgit, plantation company Sime Darby was up 0.20 percent to 10.00 ringgit and telecoms company Axiata fell 0.19 percent to 5.16 ringgit.

— Jakarta slipped 0.50 percent, or 19.97 points, to 3,984.90.

Car maker Astra International declined 0.6 percent to 69,600 rupiah, while state-owned gold and nickel miner Aneka Tambang shed 0.5 percent to 1,930 rupiah and Indocement tunggal Prakasa down 2.3 percent to 17,350 rupiah.

— Bangkok edged down 0.62 percent, or 7.20 points, to 1,157.95.

Banpu lost 1.83 percent to 644 baht, while PTT dropped 1.92 percent to 358 baht.

— Mumbai shares fell 274.12 points or 1.55 percent to 17,362.87.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

India’s largest private aluminium producer Hindalco slid 5.35 percent to 139.9 rupees while the top property firm DLF fell 5.24 percent to 192.6.—Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story

TAGS: Asia, Crude prices, Forex, gold price, Stock Activity, stocks

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.