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Jan. 28, 2011, 11:32 a.m. EST

Sensex, Nikkei Lead Asia Stocks Lower

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By Shri Navaratnam And V. Phani Kumar

Stocks in Tokyo fell a day after Standard & Poor's cut the country's sovereign-debt rating, while Indian shares stumbled for the third consecutive session over interest-rate concerns.

Weak earnings reports from frontline companies such as Canon /zigman2/quotes/210242912/composite CAJ +3.14% and Kia Motors also weighed on sentiment. Meanwhile, Cnooc plunged 7% in Hong Kong after the offshore oil and gas producer set a production growth target for this year that disappointed investors.

"Expectations were quite high for earnings, so we are starting to see a gap [between expectations and results] with most companies also cautious about their outlooks," said Naoteru Teraoka , general manager at Chuo Mitsui Asset Management.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei Stock Average dropped 1.1% to 10360.34, pressured after ratings firm Standard & Poor's cut the country's longterm credit rating to double-A-minus from double-A, citing high debt levels.

Financial shares dropped on concerns the downgrade will hurt investor sentiment toward banks, which are big holders of Japanese government bonds. Mizuho Financial Group lost 1.2% and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 2.7%.

The focus now shifts to the Japanese parliament, where the government is facing an uphill battle to implement budget and tax reforms — issues cited by S&P in cutting Japan's debt rating, said Yuichiro Harada , senior dealer at Mizuho Corporate Bank in Tokyo.

The Nikkei also was dragged down by a 3.1% fall in Canon after the company reported a 12% fall in its net profit for the October-December quarter due to higher sales promotion costs and lower prices of compact cameras.

Also pressuring the market, NEC /zigman2/quotes/205173342/delayed JP:6701 -3.14% tumbled 4.5% after posting a wider loss in the fiscal third quarter, while Advantest skidded 7.4% on a disappointing outlook.

In South Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.3% to 2107.87, its first loss of the week. That still left it with a 1.8% climb for the five-day stretch. Automobile and shipbuilding stocks led the fall. Kia Motors fell 3% after the auto maker reported a lower-than-expected 4.6% increase in fourth-quarter net profit.

Hynix Semiconductor jumped 5.4% after providing an upbeat outlook despite reporting an 83% on-year fall in fourth-quarter net earnings on Thursday.

Interest-rate sensitive stocks came under heavy selling pressure in Mumbai on worries rising interest rates would hurt consumer demand. The 30-share Sensitive Index dropped 1.5% to 18395.97, bringing losses for the last three sessions to 3.9%. The market has been falling in the wake of Tuesday's interest-rate increase and warning on inflation, with a day off for the Republic Day holiday on Wednesday.

Shares of tractor- and utility-vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra tumbled 4.9% and Tata Motors sank 4.1%, while property firm DLF /zigman2/quotes/205643772/delayed CN:000002 +1.49% slumped 7%.

Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.6% to 4774.89 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 0.7% to 23617.02, its sixth loss in seven sessions. China's Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% to 2752.75. Taiwan's Taiex added 0.5% to 9145.35 ahead of holidays that will keep it closed until Feb. 8. Many Asian markets will close late next week for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Several of the region's resource-sector shares declined after crude oil and gold prices ended on a weak note overnight. BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.94% fell 1.1% and Newcrest Mining /zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed AU:NCM -3.58% tumbled 3.6% in Sydney, while Zijin Mining Group /zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed CN:601899 -3.18% fell 1.6% in Hong Kong.

In Sydney, Energy Resources of Australia /zigman2/quotes/202164166/delayed AU:ERA +3.03% slumped 13% after it scrapped its final dividend and reported a 2010 net profit that came in at the bottom end of its recently delivered guidance.

Write to Shri Navaratnam at shri.navaratnam@dowjones.com

/zigman2/quotes/210242912/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 24.79
+0.75 +3.14%
Volume: 445,742
Feb. 25, 2020 11:34a
P/E Ratio
17.97
Dividend Yield
5.07%
Market Cap
$25.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
$180,925
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/zigman2/quotes/205173342/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 4,630.00
-150.00 -3.14%
Volume: 1.77M
Feb. 25, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
14.48
Dividend Yield
1.30%
Market Cap
¥1240.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥26.58M
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/zigman2/quotes/205643772/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 29.33
+0.43 +1.49%
Volume: 105.30M
Feb. 25, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
8.57
Dividend Yield
3.56%
Market Cap
¥326.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥3.83M
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/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 47.42
-0.45 -0.94%
Volume: 657,681
Feb. 25, 2020 11:34a
P/E Ratio
12.74
Dividend Yield
6.04%
Market Cap
$70.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 29.09
-1.08 -3.58%
Volume: 5.12M
Feb. 25, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
27.93
Dividend Yield
1.15%
Market Cap
$23.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 4.57
-0.15 -3.18%
Volume: 346.10M
Feb. 25, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
28.11
Dividend Yield
2.19%
Market Cap
¥119.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥5.78M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202164166/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 0.17
+0.0050 +3.03%
Volume: 185,154
Feb. 25, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$609.08 million
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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