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Nov. 15, 2011, 3:18 a.m. EST

Asia stocks slide on resurgent Europe debt fear

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By Michael Kitchen, MarketWatch

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Asian stock markets followed their U.S. peers lower Tuesday, as a rise overnight in Spanish and Italian government-bond yields stoked concerns that Europe’s debt crisis was deepening.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.09%  finished down 0.8%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.39%  dropped 0.7%, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -1.49%  lost 0.9%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.33%  fell 0.4%, and China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 -0.06%  ended almost flat.

The moves came after the Dow industrials /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.78%  lost 0.6% and the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.05%  fell 1% Monday, as Italy’s and Spain’s costs for borrowing climbed.

“There’s renewed concern about the euro-debt crisis because the Italian and Spanish bond yields continue to rise, meaning the impact of the debt crisis has already spread,” said KGI Asia Chief Operating Officer Ben Kwong.

Kwong also cited a rise in the dollar, which he said tends to drive foreign investors holding U.S. currency out of Asian equities, as the exchange rate drives down the value of foreign-denominated assets.

“Normally when the U.S. dollar rebounds, the fund flow will be less favorable to commodities and [non-U.S.] equities,” he said.

Companies with large exposure to the global growth outlook were among the decliners. In Hong Kong, Lenovo Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed HK:992 -4.31%   /zigman2/quotes/201114980/delayed LNVGF -4.01%  retreated by 1.3%, and Esprit Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205943307/delayed HK:330 -1.41%   /zigman2/quotes/209270177/delayed ESHDF -2.78%  fell 2.9%, while on the Sydney bourse, global shopping-mall operator Westfield Group Australia   lost 2.4%.

But Japanese exporters took a larger hit, carrying an additional weight from the strong yen, with the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.4906%  trading around the ¥77 level. Shortly after the close of Tokyo trading, the dollar was buying ¥76.98.

Click to Play

Italy's financial future

Silvio Berlusconi steps down as Italian prime minister, clearing the way for the appointment of Mario Monti as caretaker prime minister to help the country through its debt crisis.

Against this backdrop, Sony Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -0.57%   /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SNE -1.20%  gave up 1.5%, Elpida Memory Inc.   tumbled 9.1%, Renesas Electronics Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed JP:6723 -0.90%   /zigman2/quotes/201351352/delayed RNECY -0.15%  fell 4.1%, and Sharp Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 -0.54%   /zigman2/quotes/207472799/delayed SHCAF +3.24%  dropped 1.7%.

In Hong Kong, stock in China Construction Bank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 -1.37%   /zigman2/quotes/209484779/delayed CICHF -3.88%  rose 1.1%, even as its Shanghai-listed shares /zigman2/quotes/208058581/delayed CN:601939 +0.15%   lost 0.4% after Bank of America Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite BAC -1.41%  sold off a 4% stake in CCB at a discount.

Bernstein Research said in a note Tuesday that the share sale was a positive for CCB, adding they “expect the sale to remove a significant overhang on the stock.” See report on Bank of America’s CCB share sale.

Meanwhile, a 0.9% decline in Nymex crude-oil futures during New York trading, with a further drop during Asian trading hours, helped push many energy stocks lower.

In Tokyo, Inpex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -0.23%   /zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed IPXHY -0.66%  dropped 2.5%, and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. /zigman2/quotes/201212147/delayed JP:1662 -1.14%   /zigman2/quotes/202925532/delayed JPTXF -1.12%  ended with a 2.9% loss, while on the Hong Kong exchange, PetroChina Co. /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 -1.17%   /zigman2/quotes/205108732/composite PTR -0.98%   /zigman2/quotes/206980083/delayed CN:601857 -0.19%  traded down 1.7%.

Australian uranium miners rose after Prime Minister Julia Gillard signalled her government plans to end a long-standing ban on selling uranium to India. See report on Australian plans to open uranium sales to India.

Shares in Paladin Energy Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203269866/delayed AU:PDN -5.38%   /zigman2/quotes/202157125/delayed PALAF +7.69%  closed 3.1% higher, while Toro Energy Ltd. climbed 10.4% /zigman2/quotes/208586219/delayed AU:TOE 0.00%   /zigman2/quotes/209211253/delayed TOEYF -1.19%   and Deep Yellow Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201770590/delayed AU:DYL -2.44%   /zigman2/quotes/206547112/delayed DYLLF 0.00%  rocketed to a 28% gain.

Despite Tuesday’s generally bearish tone on Asian markets, KGI Asia’s Kwong said the selling may be short-lived.

“I don’t think the pressure to correct is too strong, since it’s near December and investors expect the markets will perform better in a traditional year-end rally,” he said.

However, Kwong added that Asian markets are still primarily driven by news and sentiment rather than technical factors, so any development on Europe’s debt crisis, U.S. monetary policy or Chinese inflation would trump expectations for December share gains.

/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
27,308.81
-300.35 -1.09%
Volume: 1.77M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
23,386.74
-92.41 -0.39%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 21, 2020 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,162.84
-32.66 -1.49%
Volume: 635,474
Feb. 21, 2020 3:33p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,139.00
-23.50 -0.33%
Volume: 1.07M
Feb. 21, 2020 5:17p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.58
-0.01 -0.06%
Volume: 99.51M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.14
Dividend Yield
1.40%
Market Cap
¥302.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
28,992.41
-227.57 -0.78%
Volume: 313.44M
Feb. 21, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,337.75
-35.48 -1.05%
Volume: 2.12B
Feb. 21, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 5.55
-0.25 -4.31%
Volume: 84.71M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
11.88
Dividend Yield
5.06%
Market Cap
HK$69.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$7.25M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201114980/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.72
-0.03 -4.01%
Volume: 280.00
Feb. 21, 2020 10:48a
P/E Ratio
12.05
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$8.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$925,290
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205943307/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 1.40
-0.02 -1.41%
Volume: 1.88M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
HK$2.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.22M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209270177/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.18
-0.0050 -2.78%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 6, 2020 12:39p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$329.76 million
Rev. per Employee
$282,733
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
111.5550
-0.5500 -0.4906%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 21, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,479.00
-43.00 -0.57%
Volume: 4.20M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
14.41
Dividend Yield
0.60%
Market Cap
¥9225.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥72.37M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 65.94
-0.80 -1.20%
Volume: 907,049
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
13.82
Dividend Yield
0.41%
Market Cap
$81.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$654,652
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 772.00
-7.00 -0.90%
Volume: 5.16M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
604.92
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
¥1332.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥36.92M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201351352/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 3.43
-0.0050 -0.15%
Volume: 550.00
Feb. 21, 2020 9:30a
P/E Ratio
562.30
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$11.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$334,299
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,483.00
-8.00 -0.54%
Volume: 1.50M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
15.15
Dividend Yield
1.69%
Market Cap
¥910.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.23M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207472799/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 14.32
+0.45 +3.24%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 7, 2020 5:19p
P/E Ratio
15.92
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$8.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
$454,670
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 6.46
-0.09 -1.37%
Volume: 346.64M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.42
Dividend Yield
5.40%
Market Cap
HK$1637.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209484779/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.81
-0.03 -3.88%
Volume: 121,419
Feb. 21, 2020 2:56p
P/E Ratio
5.20
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$209.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$422,749
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208058581/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 6.77
+0.01 +0.15%
Volume: 92.58M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
6.37
Dividend Yield
4.52%
Market Cap
¥1690.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.76M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.36
-0.49 -1.41%
Volume: 46.68M
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
12.48
Dividend Yield
2.10%
Market Cap
$307.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$543,289
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,069.50
-2.50 -0.23%
Volume: 4.30M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.94
Dividend Yield
3.37%
Market Cap
¥1565.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥291.81M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.45
-0.06 -0.66%
Volume: 14,128
Feb. 21, 2020 3:58p
P/E Ratio
9.57
Dividend Yield
1.87%
Market Cap
$13.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.64M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201212147/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,766.00
-32.00 -1.14%
Volume: 218,000
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.93
Dividend Yield
1.81%
Market Cap
¥159.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥156.48M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202925532/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 21.16
-0.24 -1.12%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 30, 2019 5:19p
P/E Ratio
6.63
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.42M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 3.38
-0.04 -1.17%
Volume: 241.87M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
12.97
Dividend Yield
4.66%
Market Cap
HK$625.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.32M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205108732/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 43.38
-0.43 -0.98%
Volume: 76,506
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.03
Dividend Yield
3.90%
Market Cap
$9.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
$678,384
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206980083/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 5.37
-0.01 -0.19%
Volume: 113.82M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
23.54
Dividend Yield
3.12%
Market Cap
¥984.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥4.49M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203269866/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 0.09
-0.0050 -5.38%
Volume: 2.00M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$188.59 million
Rev. per Employee
$463,060
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202157125/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.07
+0.0050 +7.69%
Volume: 410,185
Feb. 21, 2020 1:32p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$131.81 million
Rev. per Employee
$348,576
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208586219/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 0.0075
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 464,000
Feb. 21, 2020 3:53p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$18.68 million
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209211253/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.0050
-0.0001 -1.19%
Volume: 10,000
Feb. 21, 2020 9:30a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$13.20 million
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201770590/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 0.20
-0.0050 -2.44%
Volume: 260,026
Feb. 21, 2020 10:07a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$50.16 million
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206547112/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.14
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 24,565
Feb. 21, 2020 2:54p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$35.23 million
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Michael Kitchen is Asia editor for MarketWatch and is based in Los Angeles.

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