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March 29, 2012, 5:42 a.m. EDT

Hong Kong leads Asia stock fall

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By Sarah Turner and Nick Godt, MarketWatch

MUMBAI (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong led a drop for Asia stocks on Thursday, in the second day of notable losses for Chinese corporations, as investors grappled with a slew of heavyweight earnings and concerns about a global growth slowdown.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.46%  fell 1.3%, and the Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +0.26%  declined 1.4%, extending a steep fall made in the previous session.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.89%  lost 0.7%, while the South Korean Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.07% retreated 0.9%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.21%  outperformed the region by dipping a mere 0.1% to hover around a four-month-plus high set in the previous session.

Click to Play

Dow's downward trend or downward spiral?

Is the current downward trend for the Dow industrials something to take a closer look at? Photo: Reuters.

U.S. shares had lost ground on Wednesday, dragged by a weaker-than-expected rise in durable goods orders that sparked fresh concerns about the future trajectory of global growth. Read more on U.S. stocks.

Against growth worries, copper prices also suffered in New York trading, with May copper /zigman2/quotes/210056700/delayed HGK22 0.00%  shedding 9 cents, or 2.3%, to $3.79 a pound. Read more on metals.

Gold futures fell as well, while Nymex light sweet crude oil for May delivery /zigman2/quotes/209724739/delayed CLK22 -0.81%  ended down 1.8% at $105.41 a barrel. Read more on oil.

Commodity-trading houses were under pressure in Japan, with Mitsui & Co. /zigman2/quotes/205346820/delayed JP:8031 +0.21%   /zigman2/quotes/202709767/delayed MITSF +0.40%  falling 3.3%, and Mitsubishi Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208582984/delayed JP:8058 -0.39%   /zigman2/quotes/202447683/delayed MSBHY -0.41%  losing 2.8%.

In Sydney, copper and gold extractor PanAust Ltd. , down 4.8%; and diversified mineral giant BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.05%   /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.25% , down 1%. See report on BlackRock cutting BHP stake.

In Hong Kong, Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202960704/delayed HK:2600 0.00%   /zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite ACH +0.27%  fell 1.3%, and PetroChina Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 0.00%   /zigman2/quotes/205108732/composite PTR +0.38%  dropped 2%.

Oil giant Cnooc Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +0.67%   /zigman2/quotes/204964401/composite CEO +1.53%  lost 3.3% after the firm said late Wednesday that its fiscal-year net profit rose 29% to $11.2 billion, a figure that slightly exceeded analysts forecasts. However, the company also set a conservative production output target for this year. Read more on Cnooc results.

In other Chinese earnings news, China Shipping Container Lines Co. /zigman2/quotes/208184929/delayed HK:2866 -3.64%   /zigman2/quotes/200454970/delayed CITAF +20.00% /zigman2/quotes/200656011/delayed CN:601866 0.00%  fell 2% in Hong Kong after it swung to a 2011 net loss of $428 million due to rising fuel costs. See report on China Shipping Container results.

Port operator China Merchants Holdings International Co. /zigman2/quotes/200768665/delayed HK:144 -0.79%   /zigman2/quotes/200081022/delayed CMHHY 0.00%  fell 2.7% in Hong Kong after its own annual net profit slipped 5.3%, weighed down by higher costs.

Still, Bank of Communications Co. /zigman2/quotes/203442771/delayed HK:3328 +0.97%   /zigman2/quotes/208048873/delayed BKFCF -10.96%   /zigman2/quotes/207155262/delayed CN:601328 +0.19%  managed to rise 0.7% after posting an above-forecast 30% rise in annual profit, even as it cut its dividend in half. See report on BoCom earnings.

China Merchants Bank Co. /zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed HK:3968 +0.52%   /zigman2/quotes/208876947/delayed CIHKY +0.68%   /zigman2/quotes/210188047/delayed CN:600036 -0.48%  only fell slightly, slipping 0.3% in Hong Kong after the lender’s 40% jump in annual net profit met analysts forecasts. Read more on China Merchants earnings.

Andrew Sullivan at Piper Jaffray said: “I think the key thing for a lot of people at the moment is that the valuations we’re getting from results don’t justify where the market’s sitting.”

Markets have lately been driven up by liquidity from central banks, he said, adding that “if you’re a short-term investor ... you’re going to try to lock in the profits that you’ve made.”

“We’re also coming to the quarter end and I think that a lot of people are looking to lock in quarter gains and maybe change their trading portfolio approach. Hong Kong’s up 12% — a number of funds will lock in cash now and may re-enter the market in April,” he said.

Japanese technology stocks were losing ground after a weaker-than-expected outlook from U.S. technology firm Applied Materials Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209393259/composite AMAT +3.45%  sent the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor Index /zigman2/quotes/210598361/realtime SOX +2.61%  down 1.3% on Wednesday.

Advantest Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed JP:6857 +4.07% /zigman2/quotes/202479540/delayed ADTTF -9.55%  lost 2.9%, Tokyo Electron Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202883609/delayed JP:8035 +3.86%  [ /zigman2/quotes/200298228/delayed TOELF +0.48%  fell 3%, and Kyocera Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204880749/delayed JP:6971 +0.45%   /zigman2/quotes/205094593/delayed KYOCF +0.75%  shed 1.9%.

A drop below the 83-yen mark overnight for the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1356%  also dragged broadly on exporters, with Sony Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +1.45%   /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SNE +0.65%  lower by 1.5%.

On the plus side, Sharp Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 -0.87%   /zigman2/quotes/207472799/delayed SHCAF +3.24%   jumped 6.7% after trading bid-only in the previous session following news of an investment in the firm from Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. /zigman2/quotes/207256514/delayed TW:2317 +0.48% . See report on Sharp-Hon Hai deal.

Shares of Hon Hai gained 2.7% in Taipei.

/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
27,655.81
+125.61 +0.46%
Volume: 1.47M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.24
+0.04 +0.26%
Volume: 87.41M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.89
Dividend Yield
1.43%
Market Cap
¥294.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
add Add to watchlist JP:100000018
JP : Nikkei
23,400.70
+206.90 +0.89%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 19, 2020 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,210.34
+1.46 +0.07%
Volume: 591,155
Feb. 19, 2020 3:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,159.30
+14.70 +0.21%
Volume: 116,438
Feb. 20, 2020 10:33a
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/zigman2/quotes/210056700/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 2.68
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:07p
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/zigman2/quotes/209724739/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 51.67
-0.42 -0.81%
Volume: 1.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:07p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205346820/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,934.00
+4.00 +0.21%
Volume: 3.39M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
8.42
Dividend Yield
4.14%
Market Cap
¥3334.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥147.79M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202709767/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 17.50
+0.07 +0.40%
Volume: 70.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
8.30
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$30.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.34M
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/zigman2/quotes/208582984/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,836.00
-11.00 -0.39%
Volume: 3.52M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
8.50
Dividend Yield
4.65%
Market Cap
¥4283.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥181.63M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202447683/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 51.50
-0.21 -0.41%
Volume: 14,882
Feb. 19, 2020 3:50p
P/E Ratio
8.44
Dividend Yield
4.00%
Market Cap
$39.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.64M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 38.52
+0.02 +0.05%
Volume: 765,700
Feb. 20, 2020 10:33a
P/E Ratio
16.21
Dividend Yield
5.54%
Market Cap
$196.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 51.43
-0.13 -0.25%
Volume: 2.03M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
15.14
Dividend Yield
5.17%
Market Cap
$75.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202960704/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 2.27
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 16.33M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
315.28
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
HK$38.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.32
+0.02 +0.27%
Volume: 35,502
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
322.47
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$387,394
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 3.42
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 70.52M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
13.12
Dividend Yield
4.61%
Market Cap
HK$625.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.32M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205108732/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 44.37
+0.17 +0.38%
Volume: 113,627
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.26
Dividend Yield
3.81%
Market Cap
$9.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$678,384
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 12.08
+0.08 +0.67%
Volume: 66.59M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
8.17
Dividend Yield
6.04%
Market Cap
HK$535.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$13.96M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204964401/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 157.48
+2.38 +1.53%
Volume: 144,096
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
8.35
Dividend Yield
5.30%
Market Cap
$69.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.78M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208184929/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 1.06
-0.04 -3.64%
Volume: 71.46M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.77
Dividend Yield
3.54%
Market Cap
HK$12.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.54M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200454970/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.12
+0.02 +20.00%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 6, 2020 9:30a
P/E Ratio
5.13
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
$324,290
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200656011/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 2.27
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 27.41M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
14.11
Dividend Yield
1.45%
Market Cap
¥26.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200768665/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 12.52
-0.10 -0.79%
Volume: 4.76M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.01
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
HK$43.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$1.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200081022/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 15.72
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 7.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
3.14
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$5.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$162,053
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203442771/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 5.21
+0.05 +0.97%
Volume: 20.78M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
4.43
Dividend Yield
6.54%
Market Cap
HK$383.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.47M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208048873/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.65
-0.08 -10.96%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 11, 2020 10:16a
P/E Ratio
4.33
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$48.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$697,896
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207155262/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 5.32
+0.01 +0.19%
Volume: 52.98M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
5.17
Dividend Yield
5.64%
Market Cap
¥394.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥4.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 38.95
+0.20 +0.52%
Volume: 8.22M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
9.52
Dividend Yield
2.75%
Market Cap
HK$977.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.67M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208876947/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 25.00
+0.17 +0.68%
Volume: 7,932
Feb. 19, 2020 3:47p
P/E Ratio
9.94
Dividend Yield
2.26%
Market Cap
$22.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
$468,258
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210188047/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 35.53
-0.17 -0.48%
Volume: 41.95M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.91
Dividend Yield
2.65%
Market Cap
¥900.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥3.10M
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/zigman2/quotes/209393259/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 67.41
+2.25 +3.45%
Volume: 8.50M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.33
Dividend Yield
1.25%
Market Cap
$59.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
$800,095
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/zigman2/quotes/210598361/realtime
US : Nasdaq
1,979.50
+50.38 +2.61%
Volume: 181,816
Feb. 19, 2020 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 5,630.00
+220.00 +4.07%
Volume: 3.36M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
23.47
Dividend Yield
1.33%
Market Cap
¥1073.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥64.26M
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/zigman2/quotes/202479540/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 52.00
-5.49 -9.55%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 12, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
23.60
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$10.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$581,734
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/zigman2/quotes/202883609/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 25,140.00
+935.00 +3.86%
Volume: 1.61M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
21.13
Dividend Yield
2.14%
Market Cap
¥3763.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥110.09M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200298228/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 226.00
+1.09 +0.48%
Volume: 2,959
Feb. 19, 2020 2:22p
P/E Ratio
20.71
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$34.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$997,844
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204880749/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,406.00
+33.00 +0.45%
Volume: 1.29M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
21.45
Dividend Yield
2.16%
Market Cap
¥2672.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥21.68M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205094593/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 67.00
+0.50 +0.75%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 12, 2020 9:48a
P/E Ratio
21.15
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$24.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$196,396
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/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
111.2110
-0.1510 -0.1356%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 19, 2020 6:53p
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/zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,370.00
+105.00 +1.45%
Volume: 4.91M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
14.20
Dividend Yield
0.61%
Market Cap
¥8909.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥72.37M
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/zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 67.07
+0.43 +0.65%
Volume: 1.23M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
14.06
Dividend Yield
0.40%
Market Cap
$81.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$654,652
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/zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,477.00
-13.00 -0.87%
Volume: 1.66M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
15.09
Dividend Yield
1.69%
Market Cap
¥910.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.23M
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/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
$8.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$454,670
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/zigman2/quotes/207256514/delayed
TW : Taiwan
NT$ 83.80
+0.40 +0.48%
Volume: 25.48M
Feb. 19, 2020 1:30p
P/E Ratio
9.04
Dividend Yield
4.77%
Market Cap
NT$1156.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
NT$8.60M
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Sarah Turner is MarketWatch's bureau chief in Sydney. Nick Godt is a MarketWatch reporter based in Mumbai.

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