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June 13, 2013, 7:04 a.m. EDT

Nikkei plunges into bear market; China sinks

Japan index drops more than 6%; China markets also see deep losses

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By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian stocks sank Thursday as uncertainty over U.S. monetary policy led to more declines on Wall Street. Japanese shares stood out with massive losses and a move back into bear-market territory as a further rally in the yen thrashed exporters.

The Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.34%  plummeted 6.4% to end at 12,445.38 in Tokyo for its sixth loss in seven trading days. The drop marked the benchmark’s decline for a seventh straight Thursday, including the 7.3% plunge on May 23.

The selloff came as the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.2535%  fell as low as ¥93.76 during the session, nearly two full yen lower than the ¥95.61-level seen in North America late on Wednesday. The drop followed a third straight session of losses for U.S. stocks Wednesday, on concerns the Federal Reserve could taper down its bond purchases.


Reuters
Asia stocks trade lower, with Japan selling off as the yen rises further.

The dollar’s tumble against the yen “will put regional markets under pressure, but it may also [force] the U.S. Fed to reconsider its tapering plans in the face of a global sell off,” said Kim Eng Securities director of sales trading Andrew Sullivan.

The Nikkei’s 6.4% drop put it 21.9% off from its intraday peak reached on May 23. A bear market is generally defined as a price decline of 20% or more over at least a two-month period, though the current fall has been in a much shorter time frame. The Nikkei briefly entered bear-market territory last Friday.

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.7% in afternoon trade. The index had dropped much further earlier in the day to enter a so-called correction territory — widely regarded as a 10% drop from a recent peak. Stocks in some other Southeast Asian markets suffered much bigger losses, with the Philippine stock benchmark ending 6.8% lower, while Thailand’s SET slid 4.6% by late afternoon.

The losses Wednesday on Wall Street reinforced “the notion that the market is similar to a junkie who needs a constant fix, which in this case comes in the form of monetary stimulus,” said CMC Markets sales trader Miguel Audencial.

“Even a slight indication or the speculation that this stimulus will be scaled down may ignite a sell-off,” Audencial said.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -1.99% tumbled 2.8% as the markets reopened for the first time this week after a string of holidays, giving investors a chance to react to a string of downbeat economic data released over the weekend, including the monthly trade and inflation figures.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.16% skidded 2.2%, and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.29%  lost 1.4%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.49%  fell 0.6% to enter so-called correction territory — having dropped more than 10% from the highs reached in May. The benchmark declined despite official figures showing an unexpected improvement in employment trends during May.

Stock movers

In Japan, stocks found little respite as the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.2535% fell under the ¥94 level, raising more fears about the earnings outlook of companies with a significant international presence.

Click to Play

Global tumult grips markets

Global uncertainty is producing market volatility. Photo: Getty Images.

Shares of Fast Retailing Co. /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 +1.04%   /zigman2/quotes/203924235/delayed FRCOY -0.08%  skidded 8.6%, Hino Motors Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209422954/delayed JP:7205 +2.05% /zigman2/quotes/207652388/delayed HINOY +13.07%  slumped 9.9%, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. /zigman2/quotes/205375504/delayed JP:6305 +4.64% /zigman2/quotes/202415695/delayed HTCMY +2.91%  plummeted 8.6% and Advantest Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed JP:6857 +1.13%   lost 9.4%.

“The combination of elevated risk aversion and disappointment over recent policy announcements, in particular the lack of detail about Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe’s ‘third arrow,’ has prompted ever more upside for the [yen]” said Crédit Agricole forex strategy chief Mitul Kotecha.

Chinese property developers and banks suffered heavy losses during the session.

In Hong Kong, heavyweight stock China Construction Bank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 -0.86% /zigman2/quotes/207732534/delayed CICHY +1.16%  lost 3.2% and China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205731176/delayed HK:688 -1.51%   /zigman2/quotes/210412581/delayed CAOVF -5.11%  skidded 3.5%; in Shanghai, Poly Real Estate Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/201864015/delayed CN:600048 +0.49%  lost 4.5%, Citic Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/210326178/delayed CN:600030 -1.85%   /zigman2/quotes/207216844/delayed CIIHF +1.69%  plunged 6.4% and shares of CCB /zigman2/quotes/208058581/delayed CN:601939 -0.16%  gave up 1.5%.

In Sydney, mining stocks came under pressure, with BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.58%   /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -0.70%  lower by 2.6%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -1.63%   /zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed FSUMF -1.89%  sliding 3.4%.

Rio Tinto Ltd. shares /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -0.93%   /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -0.42%  declined 2.4%. The company said it plans to sell its Eagle nickel and copper project to Lundin Mining Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201246870/delayed CA:LUN -2.82%

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
22,828.15
+77.91 +0.34%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 12, 2020 12:50p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
106.7630
+0.2700 +0.2535%
Volume: 0.0000
Aug. 12, 2020 12:10a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,273.75
-66.54 -1.99%
Volume: 24.60B
Aug. 12, 2020 11:55a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
24,850.69
-39.99 -0.16%
Volume: 673,105
Aug. 12, 2020 11:55a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,411.67
-7.00 -0.29%
Volume: 504,493
Aug. 12, 2020 12:50p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,108.80
-29.90 -0.49%
Volume: 410,992
Aug. 12, 2020 1:50p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
106.7630
+0.2700 +0.2535%
Volume: 0.0000
Aug. 12, 2020 12:10a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 60,250.00
+620.00 +1.04%
Volume: 278,800
Aug. 12, 2020 12:50p
P/E Ratio
65.16
Dividend Yield
0.80%
Market Cap
¥6026.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥40.83M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203924235/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 55.92
-0.05 -0.08%
Volume: 5,112
Aug. 11, 2020 3:45p
P/E Ratio
65.87
Dividend Yield
0.62%
Market Cap
$56.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$369,206
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209422954/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 748.00
+15.00 +2.05%
Volume: 1.54M
Aug. 12, 2020 12:49p
P/E Ratio
25.54
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥390.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥60.20M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207652388/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 70.00
+8.09 +13.07%
Volume: 14.00
Aug. 11, 2020 5:19p
P/E Ratio
25.89
Dividend Yield
2.08%
Market Cap
$3.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$545,250
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205375504/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,380.00
+150.00 +4.64%
Volume: 888,800
Aug. 12, 2020 12:50p
P/E Ratio
25.92
Dividend Yield
0.89%
Market Cap
¥673.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥42.57M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202415695/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 61.13
+1.73 +2.91%
Volume: 50.00
Aug. 11, 2020 5:19p
P/E Ratio
25.36
Dividend Yield
1.35%
Market Cap
$6.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
$385,710
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 5,380.00
+60.00 +1.13%
Volume: 1.50M
Aug. 12, 2020 12:50p
P/E Ratio
20.61
Dividend Yield
1.12%
Market Cap
¥1030.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥64.26M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 5.75
-0.05 -0.86%
Volume: 58.98M
Aug. 12, 2020 11:55a
P/E Ratio
4.73
Dividend Yield
6.08%
Market Cap
HK$1431.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207732534/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 14.82
+0.17 +1.16%
Volume: 68,966
Aug. 11, 2020 3:49p
P/E Ratio
4.76
Dividend Yield
5.14%
Market Cap
$184.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$422,749
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205731176/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 22.90
-0.35 -1.51%
Volume: 4.93M
Aug. 12, 2020 11:46a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
4.45%
Market Cap
HK$251.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$30.79M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210412581/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 2.97
-0.16 -5.11%
Volume: 1.00
Aug. 10, 2020 5:19p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$32.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.93M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201864015/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 16.33
+0.08 +0.49%
Volume: 58.81M
Aug. 12, 2020 11:30a
P/E Ratio
6.95
Dividend Yield
5.02%
Market Cap
¥194.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥3.42M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210326178/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 30.73
-0.58 -1.85%
Volume: 132.84M
Aug. 12, 2020 11:30a
P/E Ratio
31.43
Dividend Yield
1.63%
Market Cap
¥392.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.96M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207216844/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 1.81
+0.03 +1.69%
Volume: 0.00
July 14, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
12.91
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$38.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$448,078
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208058581/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 6.19
-0.01 -0.16%
Volume: 48.55M
Aug. 12, 2020 11:30a
P/E Ratio
5.72
Dividend Yield
5.17%
Market Cap
¥1287.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥2.76M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 56.83
-0.33 -0.58%
Volume: 2.97M
Aug. 11, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.28
Dividend Yield
5.03%
Market Cap
$133.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 39.92
-0.28 -0.70%
Volume: 2.33M
Aug. 12, 2020 1:50p
P/E Ratio
14.94
Dividend Yield
5.34%
Market Cap
$186.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 18.08
-0.30 -1.63%
Volume: 4.66M
Aug. 12, 2020 1:50p
P/E Ratio
7.78
Dividend Yield
5.53%
Market Cap
$56.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 13.00
-0.25 -1.89%
Volume: 1,657
Aug. 11, 2020 5:19p
P/E Ratio
8.05
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$40.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 101.83
-0.96 -0.93%
Volume: 749,189
Aug. 12, 2020 1:50p
P/E Ratio
15.51
Dividend Yield
5.56%
Market Cap
$144.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.14M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 61.35
-0.26 -0.42%
Volume: 2.06M
Aug. 11, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.88
Dividend Yield
6.29%
Market Cap
$103.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$852,406
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201246870/delayed
CA : Canada: Toronto
$ 7.57
-0.22 -2.82%
Volume: 1.32M
Aug. 11, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
83.92
Dividend Yield
2.11%
Market Cap
$5.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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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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