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Aug. 16, 2012, 4:33 a.m. EDT · CORRECTED

Japan stocks shine, as China, Hong Kong retreat

FDI data drags in Shanghai, China Mobile earnings in Hong Kong

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By Sarah Turner and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

An earlier version of this story misstated the direction in which South Korea’s Kospi ended. The story has been corrected.

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks ended sharply higher to lead Asian markets on Thursday, catching a tailwind from the yen’s weakness as doubts about U.S. monetary stimulus lifted the dollar.

Hong Kong shares did a U-turn in afternoon trading to finish lower on weaker-than-expected earnings from heavyweight China Mobile Ltd., while Chinese stocks ended lower as a contraction in July foreign direct investment shifted focus to the country’s economy health.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.34%  jumped 1.9% to end at 9,092.76, its first close above the 9,000-point level since July 6. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.25%  rose 1.1%, Taiwan’s Taiex  added 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.67%  rose 0.1%.

Going the other way, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +2.30% lost 0.3% after data showing foreign direct investment contracted 8.7% in July from a year earlier. Read more on China's FDI drop.

Click to Play

Tokyo faces island disputes on WWII anniversary

As Asia commemorates Japan's surrender in World War II, South Korea, China and Russia are reigniting three separate claims to islands off Japan's coast.

But while the Chinese markets didn’t immediately respond to Premier Wen Jiabao’s remarks Wednesday that he sees “growing room for monetary policy action,” analysts interpreted the comments as a positive sign for markets.

“Investors should draw comfort from his confidence, and speculation will revive about some form of People’s Bank of China action,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist at Credit Agricole.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.17%  dropped 0.5%, weighed by a 5% drop in shares of China Mobile /zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed HK:941 -0.45% /zigman2/quotes/204514293/composite CHL -0.67% after the company said its first-half profit grew just 1.5% from the year-ago period, falling short of estimates. Read full report on China Mobile earnings.

Japanese exporters got a boost from currency moves, with car makers particularly strong. Honda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 +2.22%   /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +0.92% shares were up 2.1%, Toyota Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +2.77% /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +0.92% jumped 3.2% and Mazda Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 +1.70% /zigman2/quotes/206646681/delayed MZDAF +3.07% advanced 3.3%.

The gains followed the dollar’s appreciation, as the strong tone of recent economic data led some Federal Reserve watchers to doubt it will launch another bond buying program next month. Read more on Fed easing expectations.

Also getting a lift, Sony Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +2.06% /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SNE -0.49%  jumped 3.9% and Canon Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed JP:7751 -0.11%   /zigman2/quotes/210242912/composite CAJ -0.87% rose 2.8%.

In Hong Kong, the losses for China Mobile stock overpowered earnings-driven gains for some other firms. Internet firm Tencent Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -0.34%   /zigman2/quotes/207908563/delayed TCEHY -1.77% jumped 6.4% after reporting a 32% rise in second-quarter net profit following an increase in advertising revenue.

/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HSI 27,609.16, -46.65, -0.17%
/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed 700 410.00, -1.40, -0.34%
/zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed 992 5.80, +0.38, +7.01%
Hang Seng Vs. Tencent, Lenovo
One-month chart

Lenovo Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed HK:992 +7.01% /zigman2/quotes/204000062/delayed LNVGY +5.66%  jumped 6.3%. China’s largest personal computer maker by shipments said that its first-quarter net profit rose 30% from the same period a year ago due to strong growth in shipments. Read more on Lenovo earnings.

AMP Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/206014407/delayed AU:AMP -1.44% /zigman2/quotes/206400018/delayed AMLTF -0.84%  advanced 4.8% in Sydney after the wealth manager said its first-half net profit rose 10%, boosted by its purchase of AXA Asia Pacific’s Australian and New Zealand operations. Read more on AMP earnings.

Wesfarmers Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204567133/delayed AU:WES +0.84%  climbed 3.8% after the conglomerate reported an 11% advance in fiscal-year net profit to 2.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.2 billion) after a strong performance at its supermarket operations.

Energy-sector companies were advancing across Asia, after benchmark Nymex crude futures hit a three-month settlement high in New York on Wednesday. Read more on oil.

Cnooc Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +1.16% /zigman2/quotes/204964401/composite CEO +0.43%  shares rose 0.5% in Hong Kong, while Inpex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206936121/delayed IPXHF +5.94%   /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 +2.88%  gained 1.7% in Tokyo.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL +0.06% /zigman2/quotes/206770672/delayed WOPEF +3.37%  rose 1.5% and Beach Energy Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/209616278/delayed BCHEY -11.10% climbed 3% in Sydney.

/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/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,162.50
+17.90 +0.25%
Volume: 370,910
Feb. 21, 2020 9:15a
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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
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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
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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/200868736/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 66.75
-0.30 -0.45%
Volume: 15.25M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
10.99
Dividend Yield
4.37%
Market Cap
HK$1372.88 billion
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HK$1.88M
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/zigman2/quotes/204514293/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 42.86
-0.29 -0.67%
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11.07
Dividend Yield
3.92%
Market Cap
$176.70 billion
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/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,041.00
+66.00 +2.22%
Volume: 5.69M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.32
Dividend Yield
3.68%
Market Cap
¥5197.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
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/zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.33
+0.25 +0.92%
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P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
3.18%
Market Cap
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Rev. per Employee
$661,808
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/zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,752.00
+209.00 +2.77%
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Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
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Market Cap
¥21325.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥81.43M
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US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 139.11
+1.27 +0.92%
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P/E Ratio
8.76
Dividend Yield
2.56%
Market Cap
$194.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$737,463
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/zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 898.00
+15.00 +1.70%
Volume: 3.81M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.62
Dividend Yield
3.90%
Market Cap
¥556.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥71.32M
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/zigman2/quotes/206646681/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 8.05
+0.24 +3.07%
Volume: 1,747
Feb. 20, 2020 10:47a
P/E Ratio
9.42
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$646,191
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/zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,522.00
+152.00 +2.06%
Volume: 6.56M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
14.50
Dividend Yield
0.60%
Market Cap
¥9038.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥72.37M
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/zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 66.74
-0.33 -0.49%
Volume: 1.33M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
13.99
Dividend Yield
0.40%
Market Cap
$82.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$654,652
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/zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,787.50
-3.00 -0.11%
Volume: 2.48M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
18.27
Dividend Yield
5.74%
Market Cap
¥2968.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥19.98M
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/zigman2/quotes/210242912/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 25.00
-0.22 -0.87%
Volume: 367,016
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
18.15
Dividend Yield
5.02%
Market Cap
$26.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
$180,925
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/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 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/207908563/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 52.26
-0.94 -1.77%
Volume: 3.59M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
39.93
Dividend Yield
0.22%
Market Cap
$429.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 5.80
+0.38 +7.01%
Volume: 106.17M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
12.75
Dividend Yield
4.84%
Market Cap
HK$65.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$7.25M
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/zigman2/quotes/204000062/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 14.67
+0.79 +5.66%
Volume: 53,101
Feb. 20, 2020 3:45p
P/E Ratio
12.63
Dividend Yield
4.63%
Market Cap
$10.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
$924,869
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/zigman2/quotes/206014407/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 2.05
-0.03 -1.44%
Volume: 34.76M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$7.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.07M
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/zigman2/quotes/206400018/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 1.18
-0.01 -0.84%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 11, 2020 1:56p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$800,887
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/zigman2/quotes/204567133/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 46.94
+0.39 +0.84%
Volume: 1,000
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
25.53
Dividend Yield
3.79%
Market Cap
$52.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$208,410
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/zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 12.22
+0.14 +1.16%
Volume: 65.31M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
8.26
Dividend Yield
5.97%
Market Cap
HK$539.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$13.96M
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/zigman2/quotes/204964401/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 158.15
+0.67 +0.43%
Volume: 316,759
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
8.38
Dividend Yield
5.28%
Market Cap
$70.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.78M
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/zigman2/quotes/206936121/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.10
+0.51 +5.94%
Volume: 1,111
Feb. 20, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
9.21
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$13.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.64M
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/zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,072.00
+30.00 +2.88%
Volume: 6.28M
Feb. 20, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.97
Dividend Yield
3.36%
Market Cap
¥1521.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥291.81M
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/zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 33.25
+0.02 +0.06%
Volume: 1.89M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
64.33
Dividend Yield
4.12%
Market Cap
$31.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.92M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206770672/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 23.53
+0.77 +3.37%
Volume: 4,499
Feb. 20, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
64.02
Dividend Yield
3.87%
Market Cap
$23.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.43M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 2.16
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 11.23M
Feb. 20, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
8.62
Dividend Yield
0.93%
Market Cap
$4.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/209616278/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 31.76
-3.97 -11.10%
Volume: 10.00
Feb. 18, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
15.99
Dividend Yield
0.75%
Market Cap
$3.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Sarah Turner is MarketWatch's bureau chief in Sydney. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau.

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