Asian markets lower after Wall St. tumbles
HONG KONG — Asian markets fell on Wednesday, following big losses on Wall Street after weak reports and forecasts from top US companies, while fresh fears over Spain added to selling pressure.
The losses have also been stoked by profit-taking after an impressive run by global markets in recent weeks following easing measures in the United States, Japan and Europe, while China has also showed signs of a pick-up.
Tokyo shed 0.76 percent, Hong Kong lost 0.24 percent, Sydney fell 0.70 percent and Seoul sank 1.01 percent, while Shanghai eased 0.43 percent.
Mumbai was closed for a public holiday.
Investors took fright at big falls in New York after poor earnings figures and guidance from DuPont, United Technologies, UPS, Xerox, Radio Shack and 3M provided evidence that the US corporate earnings boom is stalling,
Chemicals giant DuPont was the stand-out loser, lowering its 2012 outlook after posting a 98 percent fall in earnings in the three months to September. It also said it would cut around 1,500 jobs over the next 18 months.
“The US earnings report season has disappointed, with 60 percent of companies missing revenue forecasts so far,” Sean Callow, at Westpac Global Strategy group in Sydney, said in a note.
US shares tumbled. The Dow lost 1.82 percent, the S&P 500 sank 1.44 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.88 percent.
In Europe, the Bank of Spain forecast the economy would contract 0.4 percent in the third quarter. If confirmed, the figures would mean the recession, which has left one in four workers unemployed, is moving into a second year.
Moody’s cut its debt rating for five Spanish regions by one or two notches each, blaming their weak financial positions and looming debt redemptions.
On currency markets the euro, which fell in New York, held up in Asia. The single currency bought $1.2980 and 103.67 yen in early trade, compared with $1.2978 and 103.64 yen in New York late Tuesday.
The dollar was at 79.85 yen against 79.84 yen.
Oil was up in Asia Wednesday, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, adding 17 cents to $86.84 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for December delivery gaining 28 cents to $108.53.
Gold was at $1,713.40 at 0200 GMT compared with $1,710.66 late Tuesday.