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July 5, 2012, 5:09 a.m. EDT

Asia stocks mostly down; Shanghai shares tumble

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By Virginia Harrison and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets fell Thursday on profit-taking after recent gains, with Chinese stocks suffering a sharp drop on concern about the weakening economy, while Hong Kong shares ended higher after a choppy trading session.

Trading volumes were weak across much of the region, in the absence of overnight cues from Wall Street, following a U.S. holiday Wednesday. Also, caution prevailed ahead of Thursday’s interest-rate setting meetings at the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, where they were expected to unveil more easing. Read MarketWatch’s ECB preview.

The day’s worst performer was China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 -0.52% , which dropped 1.2% amid concerns that a slew of data due next week might offer more evidence of a slowdown in the mainland economy. The drop followed Tuesday’s reports of lackluster growth in June lending figures at the nation’s top four banks.

Barclays economists sid they expect Chinese consumer prices to rise 2.1% in June, slowing sharply from a 3% increase in May, and for the country’s second-quarter gross domestic product to slow to 7.5% from the year-ago period, versus 8.1% in the first quarter.

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However, the research house estimated that GDP growth may bottom in the April-June period, adding that it expects “recent government measures to stabilize growth to have more impact on investment and activity in June.”

Royal Bank of Scotland strategists attributed the day’s drop in Chinese equities to “speculation that government would not loosen property restrictions.”

While losses were spread across a number of sectors in Shanghai, notable decliners included Qingdao Haier Co. /zigman2/quotes/200743595/delayed CN:600690 -0.24% , down 4.3%, Haitong Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/203443667/delayed CN:600837 -0.14% , 4.2% lower, and Anhui Conch Cement Co. /zigman2/quotes/204422624/delayed CN:600585 +0.21% , off 3.7%.

The day’s drop came even as some large-capital stocks outperformed the broad market. Energy giant PetroChina Co. /zigman2/quotes/205108732/composite PTR -0.56% /zigman2/quotes/206980083/delayed CN:601857 0.00% rose 0.2%, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202401350/delayed IDCBY +0.18%   /zigman2/quotes/202525815/delayed CN:601398 -0.70%  gained 0.3%, Poly Real Estate Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/201864015/delayed CN:600048 -0.45%  added 1.8% and China Life Insurance Co. /zigman2/quotes/206573290/composite LFC +0.71%   /zigman2/quotes/204766889/delayed CN:601628 +0.54%  climbed 1.8%.

Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.06% dropped 0.3%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.38% slipped 0.1% and Taiwan’s Taiex gave up 0.5%.

The day’s weak performance losses followed advances made earlier in the week, with most of the regional benchmarks also posting gains in June.

After a choppy trading session that saw them change direction a few times with investor on Europe, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.25%  finished 0.1% higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.22%  gained 0.5%.

Capital Economics strategist Ben May said the ECB was likely to cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage points Thursday, “with the euro zone’s debt crisis intensifying again and the economic downturn broadening.”

“But the bank seems unlikely to announce more long-term lending, believing that the financial system as a whole has enough liquidity,” May said.

Shares of many Chinese heavyweights also found buying support in Hong Kong trading, with ICBC /zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed HK:1398 +0.18%  rising 0.2%, China Life /zigman2/quotes/202359856/delayed HK:2628 +0.50%  climbing 2.7% and PetroChina Co. /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 -0.28% adding 0.8%.

Those advances helped offset China Coal Energy Co.’s /zigman2/quotes/201486584/delayed HK:1898 +0.34% /zigman2/quotes/205321671/delayed CCOZY -4.37%  0.3% and China Resources Land Ltd.’s /zigman2/quotes/209191868/delayed CRBJY +8.77%   /zigman2/quotes/202417326/delayed HK:1109 0.00%  0.5% drop after strong gains recently.

Meanwhile, many energy sector shares were sold down in other parts of Asia after oil futures pulled back from a recent rally.

In Tokyo, Inpex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 +0.18%   /zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed IPXHY -0.65%  dropped 1.2%, Oil Search Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204702973/delayed AU:OSH +1.25%   /zigman2/quotes/205045633/delayed OISHY -0.77%  fell 1.6% and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL +0.41%   /zigman2/quotes/206334215/delayed WOPEY -1.06%  gave up 0.7% in Sydney.

Shares of BlueScope Steel Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201850153/delayed AU:BSL -1.88%   /zigman2/quotes/203756272/delayed BLSFY +6.06% sank 4.6% in Sydney, after the firm said it had will pay a 21.2 million Australian dollar ($21.8 million) charge to the Australian Tax Office, pending the outcome of a dispute. Read more on BlueScope tax payment.

Aquila Resources Ltd. shot up 3.4% after the Nikkei reported Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209745829/delayed JP:8053 -0.36% would acquire a 50% interest in an Australian coal mine from Aquila for A$442 million. Shares of Sumitomo eased 0.4% in Tokyo.

Osaka Securities Exchange Co. /zigman2/quotes/201068873/delayed JP:8697 -0.26%  added 1.1% after Japanese regulators approved its proposed merger with Tokyo Stock Exchange. Read more on the exchange merger.

Shipping-related firms lent support in Seoul, with Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. rising 1% and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. gaining 0.4%.

However, shares of Hyundai Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/204364212/delayed HYMTF +0.33%  lost 0.9% and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205439169/delayed KIMTF 0.00%  shed 0.5% as their labor unions moved closer to a strike. Read more on latest Hyundai and Kia labor trouble.

Shares of sports-apparel firm Li Ning Co. /zigman2/quotes/200624860/delayed HK:2331 -6.30%  jumped 7.3% in Hong Kong after the company announced a new three-year transformation plan, including the replacement of its chief executive with the company’s founder. Read more on Li Ning shake-up.

/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.33
-0.08 -0.52%
Volume: 55.64M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.18
Dividend Yield
0.95%
Market Cap
¥264.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200743595/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 16.84
-0.04 -0.24%
Volume: 40.11M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:01p
P/E Ratio
12.16
Dividend Yield
2.08%
Market Cap
¥108.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.28M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203443667/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 14.16
-0.02 -0.14%
Volume: 33.02M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
18.08
Dividend Yield
1.06%
Market Cap
¥163.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.67M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204422624/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 48.29
+0.10 +0.21%
Volume: 24.38M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.77
Dividend Yield
3.50%
Market Cap
¥255.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.89M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205108732/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 45.87
-0.26 -0.56%
Volume: 84,679
Dec. 10, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.60
Dividend Yield
3.69%
Market Cap
$9.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$678,384
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206980083/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 5.65
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 48.29M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:01p
P/E Ratio
24.77
Dividend Yield
2.97%
Market Cap
¥1034.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥4.49M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202401350/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 14.19
+0.03 +0.18%
Volume: 106,309
Dec. 10, 2019 3:37p
P/E Ratio
5.65
Dividend Yield
4.27%
Market Cap
$61.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$387,287
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202525815/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 5.70
-0.04 -0.70%
Volume: 97.77M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
6.56
Dividend Yield
4.40%
Market Cap
¥2045.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.53M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201864015/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 15.47
-0.07 -0.45%
Volume: 55.70M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:01p
P/E Ratio
8.31
Dividend Yield
3.23%
Market Cap
¥185.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥3.42M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206573290/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 12.85
+0.09 +0.71%
Volume: 185,829
Dec. 10, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.10
Dividend Yield
0.66%
Market Cap
$18.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$970,796
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204766889/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 33.41
+0.18 +0.54%
Volume: 10.43M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:01p
P/E Ratio
19.18
Dividend Yield
0.48%
Market Cap
¥939.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.30M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
add Add to watchlist JP:100000018
JP : Nikkei
23,425.26
+15.07 +0.06%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 11, 2019 9:18a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,732.50
+25.60 +0.38%
Volume: 116,938
Dec. 11, 2019 11:18a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,103.23
+5.23 +0.25%
Volume: 98,558
Dec. 11, 2019 9:18a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
26,436.62
-58.11 -0.22%
Volume: 956,293
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 5.58
+0.01 +0.18%
Volume: 119.45M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.63
Dividend Yield
5.10%
Market Cap
HK$1985.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202359856/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 20.20
+0.10 +0.50%
Volume: 18.09M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
10.12
Dividend Yield
0.90%
Market Cap
HK$568.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$7.60M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 3.62
-0.01 -0.28%
Volume: 52.46M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
13.89
Dividend Yield
4.35%
Market Cap
HK$664.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.32M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201486584/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 2.95
+0.01 +0.34%
Volume: 4.18M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
6.75
Dividend Yield
3.01%
Market Cap
HK$38.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.78M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205321671/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 7.88
-0.36 -4.37%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 3, 2019 1:27p
P/E Ratio
7.07
Dividend Yield
2.30%
Market Cap
$1.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$354,816
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209191868/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 45.88
+3.70 +8.77%
Volume: 170.00
Dec. 9, 2019 10:54a
P/E Ratio
7.72
Dividend Yield
3.35%
Market Cap
$32.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
$388,804
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202417326/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 35.90
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 4.73M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
7.71
Dividend Yield
3.50%
Market Cap
HK$256.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.68M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,093.50
+2.00 +0.18%
Volume: 553,000
Dec. 11, 2019 9:18a
P/E Ratio
12.14
Dividend Yield
2.47%
Market Cap
¥1601.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥291.81M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.96
-0.07 -0.65%
Volume: 1,155
Dec. 10, 2019 3:48p
P/E Ratio
12.13
Dividend Yield
1.54%
Market Cap
$14.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.64M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204702973/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 7.28
+0.09 +1.25%
Volume: 479,266
Dec. 11, 2019 11:16a
P/E Ratio
18.84
Dividend Yield
2.67%
Market Cap
$11.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.46M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205045633/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 24.59
-0.19 -0.77%
Volume: 698.00
Dec. 10, 2019 3:09p
P/E Ratio
17.75
Dividend Yield
2.66%
Market Cap
$7.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.09M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 34.21
+0.14 +0.41%
Volume: 256,921
Dec. 11, 2019 11:17a
P/E Ratio
18.49
Dividend Yield
5.27%
Market Cap
$32.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.92M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206334215/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 23.26
-0.25 -1.06%
Volume: 19,643
Dec. 10, 2019 3:47p
P/E Ratio
17.52
Dividend Yield
5.29%
Market Cap
$22.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.43M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201850153/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 14.61
-0.28 -1.88%
Volume: 1.01M
Dec. 11, 2019 11:18a
P/E Ratio
7.79
Dividend Yield
0.96%
Market Cap
$7.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203756272/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 49.32
+2.82 +6.06%
Volume: 0.00
Nov. 22, 2019 11:49a
P/E Ratio
7.33
Dividend Yield
0.86%
Market Cap
$5.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209745829/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,659.00
-6.00 -0.36%
Volume: 476,600
Dec. 11, 2019 9:18a
P/E Ratio
7.06
Dividend Yield
4.82%
Market Cap
¥2066.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥70.97M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201068873/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,940.00
-5.00 -0.26%
Volume: 76,300
Dec. 11, 2019 9:17a
P/E Ratio
22.24
Dividend Yield
2.47%
Market Cap
¥1041.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥114.49M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204364212/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 30.60
+0.10 +0.33%
Volume: 50.00
Dec. 10, 2019 5:20p
P/E Ratio
9.11
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205439169/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.00
0.00 0.00%
Volume:
P/E Ratio
0.00
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200624860/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 23.80
-1.60 -6.30%
Volume: 31.97M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
41.12
Dividend Yield
0.41%
Market Cap
HK$58.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.71M
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Virginia Harrison is a MarketWatch reporter based in Sydney. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau.

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