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April 15, 2013, 4:30 a.m. EDT

Asian stocks stung by weak China data

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By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian markets stumbled on Monday after China reported weaker-than-expected economic growth and industrial production, feeding doubts about the pace of recovery and the outlook for the region’s largest economy.

The sluggish Chinese economic indicators added to the selling pressure in markets already weighed by a strong rebound in the yen, as well as a commodity-price slump and weak cues from Wall Street on Friday.

The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +2.74%  ended 1.1% lower, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.96%  gave up 1.4% after figures showing the Chinese economy expanded 7.7% in the first quarter from the year-earlier period.

The slowdown followed a 7.9% expansion in the fourth quarter and was weaker than the 8% growth anticipated by economists. Industrial output for March, at 8.9% from the year-ago month, was also weaker than projected.


Reuters

“The official ‘target’ for GDP this year is 7.5%, so this print remains on track from that perspective, but consensus expectations for 8% to 8.5% may need to reconsider their positions. Expectations for [People’s Bank of China] policy-tightening by year-end needs to be shelved for now,” said TD Securities head of Asia-Pacific research Annette Beacher.

J.P. Morgan cut China’s economic growth estimate for 2013 to 7.8% from 8.2% after the data release.

Stock indexes in other regional markets that count China as a key trading partner also extended early losses.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.27%  dropped 1.6%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.15%  lost 0.9%, Taiwan’s Taiex gave up 0.7% and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.81% shed 0.2%.

“2013 is starting to look eerily like 2012. ... Another year of propped-up growth via state spending and a credit deluge would, we fear, push China dangerously close to proving [former premier] Wen Jiabao correct — that the current economic model is ‘unsustainable,’” economists at IHS Global Insight led by Alistair Thornton wrote to clients.

“There is plenty more downside risk out there than upside risk. We have lost confidence in a robust recovery,” they said.

A number of Chinese stocks fell sharply on disappointment over the economic data.

Sany Heavy Industry Co. /zigman2/quotes/204938792/delayed CN:600031 +4.27%  lost 2.4%, Ping An Insurance Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/202773380/delayed CN:601318 +2.36%   /zigman2/quotes/202212125/delayed PNGAY +1.16%  dropped 1.6%, and Great Wall Motor /zigman2/quotes/206189068/delayed CN:601633 -3.25%   /zigman2/quotes/200918371/delayed GWLLF -7.32% gave up 1.4% in Shanghai trading.

In Shenzhen, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. /zigman2/quotes/201560657/delayed CN:000157 +2.26%   /zigman2/quotes/200468019/delayed ZLIOF -2.05% dropped 5.5% — also weighed by a profit warning issued Friday — and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. /zigman2/quotes/208414644/delayed CN:000625 -2.32% shed 4%.

In Hong Kong, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed HK:1398 +1.75% /zigman2/quotes/202401350/delayed IDCBY +0.77%  retreated 1.5%, and footwear maker Belle International Holdings Ltd.   gave up 2.2%.

Monday’s drop in Japanese equity markets came after the U.S. Treasury on Friday warned Japan not to actively weaken its currency. The yen rebounded sharply after the remarks, with the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0477%  dropping below ¥98 on Monday, versus ¥98.92 in the U.S. late on Friday.

“Currency wars are back on the agenda as U.S. and Europe ‘remind Japan of its pledge not to drive down its currency,’” said Evan Lucas a market strategist at IG Markets. “The inverse correlation between the yen/Nikkei [Average] is almost ironclad, and will add to the downward pressure regionally.”

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In Tokyo trading, Honda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 +0.63% /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +0.04%  gave up 1.8%, Hitachi Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed JP:6501 +1.38% shed 3.2%, and Bridgestone Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205589013/delayed JP:5108 +0.59% /zigman2/quotes/204111038/delayed BRDCY +0.66%  retreated 2.5% on the local currency’s rise.

On the upside, a report Saturday in the Nikkei business daily that Sharp Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 -0.28% /zigman2/quotes/207472799/delayed SHCAF -4.25%  would unload its more than 9% stake in Pioneer Corp.  helped lift both firms’ shares significantly. Pioneer’s shares climbed 4.3%, and Sharp’s soared 10.5%.

Commodity stocks in the region suffered particularly hard Monday after gold futures, which slumped to hit their lowest level in 21 months in the U.S. on Friday, continued to drop in Asia on Monday after the Chinese data, accompanied by declines in other commodities. Read more about oil’s decline below $89 a barrel in Asia.

BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +2.05%   /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP +2.20%  skidded 3.1%, and Newcrest Mining Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed AU:NCM +2.57%   /zigman2/quotes/203286036/delayed NCMGY +0.06%  plunged 8.2% in Sydney.

In Tokyo, steel maker JFE Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203557603/delayed JFEEF -6.36% /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 +2.03% stumbled 3.8%, while in Seoul, Korea Zinc Co. /zigman2/quotes/202765860/delayed KR:010130 +2.14%  plummeted 14%.

In Hong Kong, oil major Cnooc Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +2.96%   lost 3.1%, and Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. /zigman2/quotes/203361399/delayed HK:1818 +2.54% /zigman2/quotes/200275285/delayed ZHAOF -10.42% slumped 10%; in Shanghai, Zijin Mining Industry Co. /zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed CN:601899 +3.09% /zigman2/quotes/209836076/delayed ZIJMF +2.65%  fell 5.6%, and Jiangxi Copper Co. /zigman2/quotes/204256025/delayed JIXAY -2.45% /zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed CN:600362 +4.13%  tanked by 4.7%.

/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.02
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Volume: 94.86M
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HK : Hong Kong Exchange
20,717.24
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Volume: 2.17M
May 20, 2022 4:08p
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JP : Nikkei
26,739.03
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May 20, 2022 3:15p
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AU : S&P ASX
7,145.60
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Volume: 698,129
May 20, 2022 5:07p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,639.29
+46.95 +1.81%
Volume: 755,652
May 20, 2022 3:30p
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/zigman2/quotes/204938792/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 16.59
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Market Cap
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¥4.49M
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CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 44.31
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May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.93
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2.50%
Market Cap
¥767.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥3.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202212125/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 12.19
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May 20, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
7.05
Dividend Yield
5.03%
Market Cap
$113.45 billion
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$513,733
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CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 34.53
-1.16 -3.25%
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May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
47.19
Dividend Yield
1.07%
Market Cap
¥252.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥1.73M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200918371/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 1.52
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May 18, 2022 1:24p
P/E Ratio
13.33
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N/A
Market Cap
$35.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$269,121
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CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 5.87
+0.13 +2.26%
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May 20, 2022 3:00p
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5.45%
Market Cap
¥46.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200468019/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.58
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May 9, 2022 9:30a
P/E Ratio
7.03
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$6.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$397,555
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208414644/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 13.49
-0.32 -2.32%
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May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
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1.73%
Market Cap
¥92.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.44M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 4.65
+0.08 +1.75%
Volume: 167.91M
May 20, 2022 4:08p
P/E Ratio
4.32
Dividend Yield
7.42%
Market Cap
$1837.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.78M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202401350/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 11.75
+0.09 +0.77%
Volume: 60,170
May 20, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
3.88
Dividend Yield
5.87%
Market Cap
$234.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$495,188
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
127.8780
+0.0610 +0.0477%
Volume: 0.0000
May 20, 2022 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,218.00
+20.00 +0.63%
Volume: 3.89M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.83
Dividend Yield
3.73%
Market Cap
¥5511.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥68.85M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 25.02
+0.01 +0.04%
Volume: 1.37M
May 20, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
6.81
Dividend Yield
3.32%
Market Cap
$43.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$612,676
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 6,635.00
+90.00 +1.38%
Volume: 2.52M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.00
Dividend Yield
1.88%
Market Cap
¥6330.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥29.26M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205589013/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 4,907.00
+29.00 +0.59%
Volume: 2.78M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
21.14
Dividend Yield
3.46%
Market Cap
¥3435.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥23.93M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204111038/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 19.12
+0.13 +0.66%
Volume: 63,116
May 20, 2022 3:51p
P/E Ratio
17.74
Dividend Yield
2.87%
Market Cap
$26.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$217,816
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,072.00
-3.00 -0.28%
Volume: 1.87M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.89
Dividend Yield
3.73%
Market Cap
¥656.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥49.59M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207472799/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 8.79
-0.39 -4.25%
Volume: 7,600
April 6, 2022 9:30a
P/E Ratio
7.15
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$451,366
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 47.18
+0.95 +2.05%
Volume: 11.06M
May 20, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
10.61
Dividend Yield
10.16%
Market Cap
$233.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 67.32
+1.45 +2.20%
Volume: 4.34M
May 20, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.26
Dividend Yield
10.40%
Market Cap
$165.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 25.57
+0.64 +2.57%
Volume: 3.77M
May 20, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
17.48
Dividend Yield
2.63%
Market Cap
$22.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203286036/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 18.01
+0.01 +0.06%
Volume: 66,019
May 20, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
16.61
Dividend Yield
2.48%
Market Cap
$15.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203557603/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 12.17
-0.83 -6.36%
Volume: 0.00
May 2, 2022 1:05p
P/E Ratio
2.73
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$603,459
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,555.00
+31.00 +2.03%
Volume: 7.62M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
3.11
Dividend Yield
9.00%
Market Cap
¥877.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥67.81M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202765860/delayed
KR : S. Korea: KRX
573,000
+12,000 +2.14%
Volume: 40,966
May 20, 2022 3:30p
P/E Ratio
12.55
Dividend Yield
3.49%
Market Cap
₩9915.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
₩6.44B
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 11.14
+0.32 +2.96%
Volume: 118.84M
May 20, 2022 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.87
Dividend Yield
2.69%
Market Cap
$495.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$15.38M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203361399/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 6.87
+0.17 +2.54%
Volume: 9.24M
May 20, 2022 4:08p
P/E Ratio
554.03
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$21.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.20M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200275285/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.81
-0.09 -10.42%
Volume: 622.00
May 19, 2022 10:45a
P/E Ratio
506.25
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$154,232
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 10.02
+0.30 +3.09%
Volume: 303.77M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
13.63
Dividend Yield
2.00%
Market Cap
¥249.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥5.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209836076/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 1.29
+0.03 +2.65%
Volume: 7,531
May 20, 2022 3:55p
P/E Ratio
11.28
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$36.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
$783,268
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204256025/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 66.59
-1.67 -2.45%
Volume: 0.00
March 31, 2022 11:14a
P/E Ratio
5.92
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$8.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.75M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 17.91
+0.71 +4.13%
Volume: 24.40M
May 20, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.92
Dividend Yield
2.79%
Market Cap
¥50.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥16.88M
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Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau. Follow him on Twitter @MktwKumar.

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