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March 21, 2013, 5:01 a.m. EDT

Japan stocks jump to lead Asia; Hong Kong down

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By Sarah Turner and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks jumped Thursday ahead of a closely-watched press briefing by the new central bank governor, while mainland Chinese shares advanced after a preliminary reading on manufacturing activity showed an improvement.

The Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.34%  climbed 1.3% in Tokyo, leading regional markets by a wide margin as investors returned from Wednesday’s holiday.

The advance came against the backdrop of anticipation as investors looked ahead to the first press conference of new Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda. A Nikkei newspaper report said the new governor was expected to announce “bold monetary easing, both in terms of quantity and quality” in order to quickly reach the bank’s 2% inflation target.

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Exporters posted solid gains amid hopes that the yen might weaken further as the central bank targeted policies to pull the country from the grip of falling prices.

Kyocera Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204880749/delayed JP:6971 +0.89%  rose 3.1%, Fanuc Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 +0.56% /zigman2/quotes/206262686/delayed FANUF -0.77%  rallied 5.1%, and Hitachi Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed JP:6501 +0.75% /zigman2/quotes/203416411/delayed HTHIF +2.28%  advanced 2.5%.

Financials also traded broadly higher ahead of the Kuroda news briefing, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 +0.39%   advancing 1.6% and Nomura Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed JP:8604 +1.20% /zigman2/quotes/207276383/composite NMR 0.00%  rising 2.3%.

Elsewhere in the region, China’s Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +2.30%  rose 0.3% and Taiwan’s Taiex inched up 0.2%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.17%  slipped 0.1% at the end of a choppy day’s trading that saw the benchmark change direction a few times. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.67%  fell 0.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.25% eased 0.2%.

The region’s mixed performance came despite an overnight advance on Wall Street. More recently, Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.40%  futures were up 22 points, or 0.2%, pointing to a likely higher start for U.S. equities.

Meanwhile, a preliminary survey of Chinese manufacturing by HSBC showed the Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.7 in March from February’s final reading of 50.4.

“The rebound in the PMI suggests that at least some of the slowing in the pace of growth in February had been attributable to a stronger-than-usual seasonal impact from the [Lunar] New Year holidays, and provides encouraging indications that the economy is not facing a renewed weakening,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, which helps HSBC compile the survey results.

/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed 700 410.00, -1.40, -0.34%
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HSI 27,609.16, -46.65, -0.17%
Tencent Holdings Vs. Hang Seng Index
One-year price moves

Automobile and steel firms were among the gainers in Shanghai, with SAIC Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201442870/delayed CN:600104 +1.10%  climbing 0.7% and Wuhan Iron & Steel Co.  rising 1.1%.

In Hong Kong, shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -0.34% /zigman2/quotes/202617460/delayed TCTZF +1.04%  fell 4%, even after it reported a 37% increase in fourth-quarter profit, as the Internet services company said it will step up investment in a mobile chatting platform.

Shares of Samsonite International SA /zigman2/quotes/203535856/delayed HK:1910 -1.50% /zigman2/quotes/206951683/delayed SMSOF +2.48% surged 5.6%, extending its recent post-earnings gains.

Australian shares fell as the market digested the surprise news that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had agreed to call a vote later in the day to determine the leadership of the ruling Labor Party and the nation. Gillard was reelected leader of the ruling party, unopposed, after the market closed.

Shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA +0.02% /zigman2/quotes/207018701/delayed CBAUF -1.18%  dropped 0.7% and National Australia Bank Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB +0.33%   /zigman2/quotes/208329321/delayed NABZY -0.05%  fell 0.5%, while mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.25%   /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.05%  declined 0.4%.

In South Korea, several major financials traded lower a day after a major cyber-attack hit some of the nation’s top banks and media outlets. Shinhan Financial Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/208869909/composite SHG -0.10%   /zigman2/quotes/202889287/delayed KR:055550 -0.96%  dropped 1.6%, while Hana Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208370876/delayed KR:086790 -0.45%  declined 2.5%.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
add Add to watchlist JP:100000018
JP : Nikkei
23,479.15
+78.45 +0.34%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 20, 2020 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/204880749/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,472.00
+66.00 +0.89%
Volume: 1.14M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
21.64
Dividend Yield
2.14%
Market Cap
¥2684.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥21.68M
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/zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 20,470.00
+115.00 +0.56%
Volume: 603,400
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
48.16
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
¥3906.14 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥95.87M
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/zigman2/quotes/206262686/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 183.77
-1.43 -0.77%
Volume: 619.00
Feb. 19, 2020 3:24p
P/E Ratio
47.21
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$35.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$869,691
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/zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 4,189.00
+31.00 +0.75%
Volume: 2.95M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
20.78
Dividend Yield
2.15%
Market Cap
¥4017.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥30.84M
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/zigman2/quotes/203416411/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 38.87
+0.87 +2.28%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 11, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
21.20
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$36.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$279,568
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/zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 562.80
+2.20 +0.39%
Volume: 39.22M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
12.47
Dividend Yield
4.44%
Market Cap
¥7150.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.52M
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/zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 564.40
+6.70 +1.20%
Volume: 17.12M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.47
Dividend Yield
5.32%
Market Cap
¥1724.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥65.89M
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/zigman2/quotes/207276383/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.08
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 130,240
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
7.27
Dividend Yield
2.85%
Market Cap
$15.71 billion
Rev. per Employee
$597,075
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/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.59
+0.35 +2.30%
Volume: 123.54M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.14
Dividend Yield
1.40%
Market Cap
¥295.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
27,609.16
-46.65 -0.17%
Volume: 1.58M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,195.50
-14.84 -0.67%
Volume: 709,563
Feb. 20, 2020 3:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,162.50
+17.90 +0.25%
Volume: 797,553
Feb. 20, 2020 5:23p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
29,348.03
+115.84 +0.40%
Volume: 242.65M
Feb. 19, 2020 5:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201442870/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 23.00
+0.25 +1.10%
Volume: 21.20M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.23
Dividend Yield
5.48%
Market Cap
¥265.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥5.14M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 410.00
-1.40 -0.34%
Volume: 16.58M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
39.96
Dividend Yield
0.24%
Market Cap
HK$3898.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$8.27M
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/zigman2/quotes/202617460/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 53.20
+0.55 +1.04%
Volume: 21,034
Feb. 19, 2020 3:35p
P/E Ratio
40.64
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$504.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203535856/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 15.72
-0.24 -1.50%
Volume: 6.55M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
14.72
Dividend Yield
4.34%
Market Cap
HK$22.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.07M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206951683/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 2.07
+0.05 +2.48%
Volume: 150.00
Feb. 19, 2020 9:53a
P/E Ratio
15.19
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$263,681
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/zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 87.85
+0.02 +0.02%
Volume: 2.90M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
16.18
Dividend Yield
4.91%
Market Cap
$155.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$919,022
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207018701/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 56.31
-0.67 -1.18%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 11, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
14.97
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$104.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$687,071
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 27.40
+0.09 +0.33%
Volume: 8.43M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
16.72
Dividend Yield
6.06%
Market Cap
$78.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.00M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208329321/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.11
-0.0050 -0.05%
Volume: 65,796
Feb. 19, 2020 3:45p
P/E Ratio
15.77
Dividend Yield
6.11%
Market Cap
$52.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$761,598
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/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
$75.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 38.52
+0.02 +0.05%
Volume: 4.98M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
16.21
Dividend Yield
5.54%
Market Cap
$194.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/208869909/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 30.45
-0.03 -0.10%
Volume: 95,876
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
2.52
Dividend Yield
3.49%
Market Cap
$7.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202889287/delayed
KR : S. Korea: KRX
36,200.00
-350.00 -0.96%
Volume: 1.26M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:30p
P/E Ratio
5.17
Dividend Yield
5.11%
Market Cap
₩17125.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208370876/delayed
KR : S. Korea: KRX
32,900.00
-150.00 -0.45%
Volume: 875,740
Feb. 20, 2020 3:30p
P/E Ratio
4.22
Dividend Yield
6.38%
Market Cap
₩9636.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Sarah Turner is MarketWatch's bureau chief in Sydney. Follow her on Twitter @SarahTurnerMKTW. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau. Follow him on Twitter @MktwKumar.

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