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March 7, 2013, 3:35 a.m. EST

Japan stocks sparkle while most of Asia drops

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By Sarah Turner and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks on Thursday ended at their best level in more than four years, standing out in Asia as other major markets suffered losses amid caution ahead of key central-bank decisions and economic data.

The Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.65%  rose 0.3% to 11,968.08, a closing level it hasn’t seen since September 2008, with exporters broadly advancing. The benchmark had earlier in the day topped the psychologically important 12,000-point level, but pared those gains after the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged.

Most other major markets fell, with China’s Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 -0.50%  falling 1%, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.90%  dropping 0.8%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.53% losing 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.96%  ending marginally lower.

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The drop came as investors turned cautious ahead of a packed schedule of key central bank events and economic data. That included the European Central Bank and Bank of England decisions later Thursday, and the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data Friday.

Andrew Sullivan, head of sales trading at Kim Eng Securities, said that with U.S. markets near highs, “people are worried ahead of the data in case there’s a bad figure.” Read: Close calls on easing for ECB, Bank of England.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.18%  reached a record high Tuesday, after an improvement in a private-payrolls growth and a smaller-than-expected drop in factory orders. Read: Stocks gain as Dow extends record rise.

Dow futures  were pointing to a likely higher opening Thursday, rising 25 points to 14,290.

Stock trading in Tokyo saw several exporters rise over the yen’s recent declines, amid optimism over the government’s efforts to spur the economy.

Mazda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 +7.38%   /zigman2/quotes/206646681/delayed MZDAF -2.30% jumped 4.6%, Nintendo Co. /zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed JP:7974 -0.42% /zigman2/quotes/206371241/delayed NTDOF -2.74% spiked 4.8% and Bridgestone Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205589013/delayed JP:5108 -0.09%   /zigman2/quotes/201520388/delayed BRDCF +0.64% rallied 4.2%.

Olympus Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200860615/delayed JP:7733 +0.81%   /zigman2/quotes/203009041/delayed OCPNF +1.09%  soared 5.5% after a Nikkei news report that the firm will slash more of its interest-bearing debt load than planned by the end of the next fiscal year in March 2014.

At its policy meeting Thursday, the Bank of Japan left its interest rates and asset purchases on hold, but many economists expect action at next month’s meeting. Read: Bank of Japan stands pat ahead of new leadership.

Steel makers slipped, however, after a Nikkei report they will pay 33% more for iron ore in the April-June quarter than in the first three months of the year. JFE Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 +0.07%   /zigman2/quotes/203557603/delayed JFEEF +1.58%  dropped 1%, while Kobe Steel Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207391157/delayed JP:5406 -3.10%   /zigman2/quotes/204389518/delayed KBSTF +0.45%  fell 1.6%.

Recent gains for ore caught the eye of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which said late Wednesday that the price spikes in imported iron ore to China were due in part to unreasonable pricing mechanisms.

Among Australian iron-ore miners — key suppliers to the Chinese market — Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed FSUMF -1.17%   /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -0.63% dropped 2.2%, while BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.34% /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.88% ended unchanged.

In its response to the NDRC’s allegations, BHP said it was committed to transparent prices in the iron ore market, according to a Reuters report.

Stocks in Hong Kong and Shanghai pulled back after two days of advances, with banks leading the way down.

In Shanghai, China Merchants Bank Co. /zigman2/quotes/210188047/delayed CN:600036 -1.34% /zigman2/quotes/208876947/delayed CIHKY -0.96% dropped 2.5% and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204629388/delayed CN:601288 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/207749118/delayed ACGBY -0.42% shed 2.4%; the stocks lost 0.9% and 1.3% in Hong Kong.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
add Add to watchlist JP:100000018
JP : Nikkei
27,819.33
-180.63 -0.65%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 10, 2022 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 12.06
-0.06 -0.50%
Volume: 68.30M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
5.99
Dividend Yield
1.89%
Market Cap
¥236.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.67M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,480.88
-22.58 -0.90%
Volume: 479,467
Aug. 10, 2022 3:32p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,992.70
-37.10 -0.53%
Volume: 698,006
Aug. 10, 2022 5:28p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
19,610.84
-392.60 -1.96%
Volume: 1.73M
Aug. 10, 2022 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
32,774.41
-58.13 -0.18%
Volume: 320.97M
Aug. 9, 2022 5:13p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,251.00
+86.00 +7.38%
Volume: 13.10M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.26
Dividend Yield
2.80%
Market Cap
¥733.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥64.01M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206646681/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 8.50
-0.20 -2.30%
Volume: 400.00
Aug. 5, 2022 9:48a
P/E Ratio
7.38
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
$569,597
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 57,060.00
-240.00 -0.42%
Volume: 360,400
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
13.29
Dividend Yield
3.56%
Market Cap
¥6770.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥250.14M
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/zigman2/quotes/206371241/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 417.75
-11.75 -2.74%
Volume: 6.00
Aug. 9, 2022 9:39a
P/E Ratio
11.40
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$50.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.15M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205589013/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 5,346.00
-5.00 -0.09%
Volume: 2.26M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
25.20
Dividend Yield
3.18%
Market Cap
¥3788.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥24.92M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201520388/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 36.17
+0.23 +0.64%
Volume: 1.00
July 13, 2022 11:04a
P/E Ratio
18.91
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$25.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$221,716
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200860615/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,752.00
+22.00 +0.81%
Volume: 7.92M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
28.92
Dividend Yield
0.58%
Market Cap
¥3412.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥27.53M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203009041/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 20.39
+0.22 +1.09%
Volume: 100.00
Aug. 9, 2022 10:22a
P/E Ratio
24.84
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$25.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$245,017
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,445.00
+1.00 +0.07%
Volume: 4.55M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
2.69
Dividend Yield
8.30%
Market Cap
¥832.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥73.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203557603/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 10.90
+0.17 +1.58%
Volume: 0.00
July 20, 2022 9:59a
P/E Ratio
2.37
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$6.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$626,484
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207391157/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 594.00
-19.00 -3.10%
Volume: 15.06M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
3.64
Dividend Yield
7.58%
Market Cap
¥242.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥54.65M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204389518/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 4.50
+0.02 +0.45%
Volume: 500.00
Aug. 9, 2022 11:14a
P/E Ratio
3.25
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
$486,349
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 13.16
-0.16 -1.17%
Volume: 105.00
Aug. 9, 2022 3:21p
P/E Ratio
4.52
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$40.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.07M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 18.83
-0.12 -0.63%
Volume: 6.20M
Aug. 10, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
4.91
Dividend Yield
15.77%
Market Cap
$58.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.74M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 38.30
-0.52 -1.34%
Volume: 7.86M
Aug. 10, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
8.62
Dividend Yield
12.52%
Market Cap
$198.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 53.90
-0.48 -0.88%
Volume: 2.40M
Aug. 9, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.22
Dividend Yield
12.99%
Market Cap
$138.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210188047/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 33.15
-0.45 -1.34%
Volume: 52.96M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
6.75
Dividend Yield
4.59%
Market Cap
¥861.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥4.39M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208876947/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 25.76
-0.25 -0.96%
Volume: 42,484
Aug. 9, 2022 3:58p
P/E Ratio
6.73
Dividend Yield
3.80%
Market Cap
$127.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
$680,188
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204629388/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 2.84
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 117.81M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
4.04
Dividend Yield
7.28%
Market Cap
¥975.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.61M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207749118/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 8.24
-0.04 -0.42%
Volume: 106,371
Aug. 9, 2022 3:49p
P/E Ratio
3.01
Dividend Yield
7.82%
Market Cap
$144.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$406,847
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Sarah Turner is MarketWatch's bureau chief in Sydney. Follow her on Twitter @SarahTurnerMKTW. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau. Follow him on Twitter @MktwKumar.

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