Bulletin
Investor Alert

Aug. 27, 2008, 5:24 a.m. EDT

Weak Property Stocks Weigh Tokyo, But Strong Earnings Lift Hong Kong

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Kyoei Sangyo Co. Ltd. (6973)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

Asian markets ended mixed Wednesday. Property shares led Tokyo stocks lower, but strong earnings from China mobile lifted Hong Kong's index.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.2% to 12752.96 on weakness in shares of real-estate developers and auto makers.

Property shares continued their slide after Sohken Homes filed for bankruptcy with ¥33.89 billion ($309.6 million) in liabilities and became the latest casualty in a string of recent failures among small and midsize Japanese real-estate firms. Its collapse follows the failures of condominium developer Urban and developer Sebon earlier this month, as well as Zephyr and Kyoei Sangyo /zigman2/quotes/208156566/delayed JP:6973 +4.72% in July. Sumitomo Realty & Development /zigman2/quotes/206628792/delayed JP:8830 -1.83% shed 2.9%, Tokyu Land lost 2.53% and condominium developer Joint tumbled 14.23%.

Auto makers slid on continuing anxieties over the U.S. economic outlook and after a local media report said inventories at publicly listed Japanese companies increased 8.7% between March 31 and June 30 on higher raw-materials prices and softening demand for finished goods such as cars. Nissan Motor /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 +0.10% fell 4.68%, Honda /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -1.48% declined 2.22% and Toyota Motor /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 -1.43% was down 2.65%.

Meanwhile, buying interest ahead of the expiry of August futures later this week and sharp gains by China Mobile /zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed HK:941 -0.59% led Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 1.9% higher to end at 21464.72.

"More long-term investors are checking around for good targets of bargain hunting, with the current level of most blue chips remaining very attractive," said Steven Leung, institutional sales director at UOB KayHian Securities.

Index heavyweight China Mobile rose 3.5% after reporting a 45% increase in first-half net profit on strong subscriber growth and lower taxes. (See related article.)

PetroChina /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 -0.73% rose 3.4% despite expectations it would report a drop in first-half earnings after the market closed. The advance came after Goldman Sachs said it expects the company's full-year earnings may grow 6.3% a share as the purchase of a 50% stake in CNPC Exploration and Development from its parent is likely to boost its net profit in 2009.

In mainland trading, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks both Class A and Class B shares, ended down 0.3% at 2342.15, as weakness in airlines and steel makers offset bargain-hunting in insurance companies.

Air carriers were among the biggest decliners after both China Eastern Airlines and Air China posted lower-than-expected first-half earnings. China Eastern Airlines shed 3.5% after falling 8.8% in the previous session and Air China lost 1.1% after falling 7.9% a day earlier.

Steel companies extended losses on weakening industry demand. Baoshan Iron & Steel declined 1.6% while Wuhan Iron & Steel fell.

However, insurance companies rebounded on bargain hunting. China Life Insurance rose 2.6% and Ping An Insurance rose 1.8%. Both are down by around two-thirds from their peaks in October.

Elsewhere, bargain-hunting helped nudge Seoul's Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, 0.2% higher to close at 1494.92. Most defensive stocks, such as telecom and utility firms, extended gains. Fixed-line provider KT rose 3.5%, Korea Gas ended up 3.1%, and the country's dominant tobacco company, KT&G, finished 1.4% higher.

Financial stocks rebounded on bargain-hunting after recent sharp losses, with Kookmin Bank rising 2.1% while Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance climbed 5%. Mirae Asset Securities gained 4%.

But technology stocks struggled, tracking the extended losses in Samsung Electronics following the move by some foreign investment banks to cut their target price on the stock because of the challenging third-quarter earnings outlook for the company. Samsung's shares finished the session 1.9% lower, Hynix Semiconductor fell 3.7% and LG Display dropped 2.7%.

Hyundai Heavy Industries fell 2.9% and its major shareholder, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, lost 3.9% on news Tuesday that Hyundai Heavy is interested in bidding for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering amid rising signs that the shipbuilding industry is in the down cycle.

In currencies, the dollar bought ¥109.95 Wednesday afternoon in Asia, compared with ¥109.55 late Tuesday. The euro stood at $1.4712 from $1.4644.

Write to the Online Journal's editors at newseditors@wsj.com

/zigman2/quotes/208156566/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,330.00
+60.00 +4.72%
Volume: 11,600
Aug. 14, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
157.85
Dividend Yield
1.50%
Market Cap
¥3.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥55.16M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206628792/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,105.00
-58.00 -1.83%
Volume: 971,500
Aug. 14, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.77
Dividend Yield
1.22%
Market Cap
¥1500.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥77.54M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 416.50
+0.40 +0.10%
Volume: 12.00M
Aug. 14, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥1619.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥85.36M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,722.00
-41.00 -1.48%
Volume: 4.58M
Aug. 14, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
23.83
Dividend Yield
1.62%
Market Cap
¥4756.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥73.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,181.00
-104.00 -1.43%
Volume: 4.98M
Aug. 14, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
13.15
Dividend Yield
1.11%
Market Cap
¥20253.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥81.43M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 58.65
-0.35 -0.59%
Volume: 19.78M
Aug. 14, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
10.25
Dividend Yield
5.54%
Market Cap
HK$1166.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$1.88M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 2.71
-0.02 -0.73%
Volume: 57.09M
Aug. 14, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
22.53
Dividend Yield
5.85%
Market Cap
HK$863.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.32M
loading...

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.