Asia Markets Archives | Email alerts

July 12, 2012, 4:44 a.m. EDT

Asia stocks slammed as growth fears mount

S. Korean rate cut, rise in Australian unemployment hit sentiment

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    NIKKEI 225 Index (NIK)
  • X
    KOSPI Composite Index (180721)
  • X
    S&P/ASX 200 Benchmark Index (XJO)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Virginia Harrison and Sarah Turner, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asia stock benchmarks fell Thursday, as a surprise rate cut in South Korea, lack of central bank policy action from Japan, and weak jobs data from Australia kept investors on edge a day before the release of a likely downbeat report on Chinese growth.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.88%  ended down 1.5%, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.35%  tumbled 2.2%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.47%  lost 0.7%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.06%  fell 2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +1.29%  edged up 0.5%.

The day began on a weak note in Asia, after a lack of clarity on future easing measures from the Federal Reserve weighed on U.S. stocks Wednesday. Read more on the U.S. session.

Click to Play

PepsiCo churns chips for China

PepsiCo plans to invest $2.5 billion in China's fast-growing snacks market, and is looking to make it pay off by catering to local taste buds.

Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong said disappointment over any imminent easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve was draining confidence across the region.

”A lack of QE3 is negative for global markets,” Yip said, referring to a third round of monetary stimulus, or quantitative easing, from the Fed. He said investors were also cautious ahead of Friday’s much-anticipated Chinese second-quarter economic growth figures.

“Markets are occupied with the slowing in China. If GDP goes down to 7% or 7.2%, it won’t be a good sign. But it may also mean more action from the People’s Bank of China, and markets may jump at that,” Yip said. Read MarketWatch First Take on coming China data.

Economists surveyed by FactSet expect China to have grown 7.5% in the second-quarter from the year-ago period, markedly slower than the 8.1% expansion recorded in the first quarter.

Concerns about the region’s slowing growth were bolstered after the Bank of Korea delivered a surprise 0.25-percentage point cut to its benchmark rate, bringing it to 3%. Read more on South Korea rate cut.

The unexpected rate cut “raised concerns about intensifying downside risk to Asian growth ahead of Singapore and Chinese GDP tomorrow,” said strategists at RBC Capital Markets.

Adding to existing growth worries, official data from Australia showed the country’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% in June. Read more on Australian data.

/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed 180721 2,418.67, +32.29, +1.35%

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan left ultra-low interest rates unchanged at its policy meeting Thursday. The BOJ reaffirmed its commitment to steadily increasing the size of its asset purchase program, but didn’t announce any immediate increase in the overall size of the program. Read more on the BoJ meeting.

Banks pressured

Banks sold off sharply in Hong Kong. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed HK:1398 +1.98%   /zigman2/quotes/204265987/delayed IDCBF -6.78% /zigman2/quotes/202525815/delayed CN:601398 -0.20%  lost 2.4%, and China Merchants Bank Co. /zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed HK:3968 +4.70%   /zigman2/quotes/209895294/delayed CIHHF -1.27% /zigman2/quotes/210188047/delayed CN:600036 +1.46%  retreated 2.3%.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
add Add to watchlist JP:100000018
JP : Nikkei
22,750.24
+420.30 +1.88%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 11, 2020 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,418.67
+32.29 +1.35%
Volume: 834,714
Aug. 11, 2020 3:32p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,138.70
+28.50 +0.47%
Volume: 726,816
Aug. 11, 2020 5:37p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
24,878.93
+501.50 +2.06%
Volume: 1.49M
Aug. 11, 2020 3:57p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 14.13
+0.18 +1.29%
Volume: 260.33M
Aug. 11, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.82
Dividend Yield
1.54%
Market Cap
¥265.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 4.64
+0.09 +1.98%
Volume: 156.77M
Aug. 11, 2020 3:57p
P/E Ratio
4.68
Dividend Yield
6.19%
Market Cap
HK$1890.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204265987/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.55
-0.04 -6.78%
Volume: 100.00
Aug. 10, 2020 1:15p
P/E Ratio
4.33
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$243.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$387,287
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202525815/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 4.98
-0.01 -0.20%
Volume: 276.72M
Aug. 11, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
5.64
Dividend Yield
5.28%
Market Cap
¥1698.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.53M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 38.95
+1.75 +4.70%
Volume: 30.39M
Aug. 11, 2020 3:57p
P/E Ratio
9.17
Dividend Yield
3.37%
Market Cap
HK$1009.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.67M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209895294/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 4.68
-0.06 -1.27%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 6, 2020 11:12a
P/E Ratio
8.76
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$131.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$468,258
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210188047/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 37.54
+0.54 +1.46%
Volume: 173.64M
Aug. 11, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.19
Dividend Yield
3.20%
Market Cap
¥906.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥3.10M
loading...
1 2
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Markets

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

World News from MarketWatch

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.