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Feb. 28, 2012, 3:39 a.m. EST

Asia markets mostly up as crude pulls back

Weaker yen, strong retail sales lift Tokyo despite Elpida bankruptcy

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By Virginia Harrison and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets rose Tuesday against the backdrop of a retreat in crude-oil prices, with a weakened yen and strong retail sales lifting Japanese stocks despite a fall in technology shares after Elpida Memory Inc.’s bankruptcy filing.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.37%  added 1.7% to 21,568.73, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.12%  gained 0.9% to 9,722.52, China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +0.27%  advanced 0.2% to 2,451.86 and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.65%  rose 0.6% to 2,003.69.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.30% declined 0.1% to 4,262.70 as poor earnings reports pressured shares of James Hardie Industries SE /zigman2/quotes/201411224/delayed AU:JHX +2.61%   /zigman2/quotes/200042563/composite JHX +1.17% and Boral Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208897707/delayed AU:BLD +3.19%   /zigman2/quotes/202320023/composite BOALY +4.55%

Click to Play

Brave new world for Asia's memory-chip makers

Japanese memory chip maker Elpida files for bankruptcy protection. With one player hobbling in a competitive market plagued by overcapacity, would competitors benefit from buying the chip maker?

“The oil price has pulled back slightly, which is positive. If the oil price is too high, it’s detrimental to parts of the economy and the recovery,” said Peter Lai, director at DBS Vickers in Hong Kong.

”But investors are waiting for catalysts to go higher and looking for more economic indicators from China,” he said.

Retail stocks led Tokyo higher in the afternoon session after a 1.9% year-on-year rise for January retail sales. See report on Japanese retail data.

Fast Retailing Co. /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -0.14% /zigman2/quotes/203924235/composite FRCOY -0.45%  added 2.1%, Seven & I Holdings Co. /zigman2/quotes/207666111/delayed JP:3382 -0.33% /zigman2/quotes/203868267/composite SVNDF +1.01%  gained 1.1% and Takashimaya Co. /zigman2/quotes/207394975/delayed JP:8233 +0.67% /zigman2/quotes/203458393/composite TKSHF -3.41%  rose 1.7%.

The yen’s decline against the dollar and the euro spurred many exporters, lifting Fanuc Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209410825/composite FANUY -0.06%   /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 0.00%  2% and Nikon Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209396469/composite NINOY +0.83%   /zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed JP:7731 +1.11%  1.9% and Sony Corp.   /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -1.29%  0.7%.

Shares of Nissan Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 +1.28% /zigman2/quotes/207656007/composite NSANY +1.60%  dropped 1.1% after saying it would recall 79,275 cars over problems with the vehicles’ fuel sensors. Read more on the Nissan recall.

Those gains helped offset weakness in technology stocks after memory chip maker Elpida   announced its bankruptcy filing late Monday, due to its inability to restructure or refinance a heavy debt load. Read more on Elpida's bankruptcy filing.

Elpida stock plummeted 24%, also dragging down shares of some other technology shares. Renesas Electronics Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed JP:6723 -2.03% /zigman2/quotes/201351352/composite RNECY -1.84%  fell 3.3% and Advantest Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed JP:6857 -2.24% /zigman2/quotes/202479540/composite ADTTF -1.10%  lost 1.5%.

But Elpida rivals elsewhere gained on hopes investments to boost production capacity will fall, boosting prices. In Seoul, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. HXSCL 0.00%  climbed 6.8%, while Samsung Electronics Co. SSNGY 0.00%  gained 1.2%.

“We expect Hynix’s earnings to show a positive inflection point in the second quarter of 2012 driven by a DRAM price recovery, which should help drive a share price recovery,” strategists at Deustche Bank wrote in a research note, maintaining their buy recommendation on Hynix.

Samsung, Hynix and Elpida are the world’s three largest DRAM-chip producers. See report on fallout from Elpida bankruptcy.

Several airline stocks in the region rose in the region as crude-oil prices declined. Korean Air Lines Co. gaining 3.2%, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208114856/composite CPCAY -1.21%   /zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed HK:293 -1.19%  jumping 5.7% in Hong Kong, Qantas Airways Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200387630/composite QUBSF -0.67%   /zigman2/quotes/205534063/delayed AU:QAN +0.94%  adding 1.8% in Sydney and All Nippon Airways Co. /zigman2/quotes/202790240/delayed JP:9202 +0.28%   /zigman2/quotes/200046541/composite ALNPY -0.23%  up 0.4% in Tokyo.

Among regional stocks that moved on the back of their earnings reports, Hang Seng Bank Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201710108/delayed HK:11 +1.09%   /zigman2/quotes/200398486/composite HSNGF -0.53%  rose 5.1% in Hong Kong after posting a 12% gain in 2011 profit. See report on Hang Seng Bank earnings.

But index heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 +1.76%  fell 0.7%, tracking the previous day’s losses in London, as earnings results overnight showed profit in line with analysts’ expectations but costs continuing to rise.

“The result was neutral — it met market expectations, but still some investors are demanding more, and there are too many uncertainties in the euro zone,” DBS Vickers’s Lai said. See report on HSBC earnings.

In Sydney, disappointing results from construction-materials provider James Hardie and Boral sent their shares 4.2% and 2.7% lower, respectively. See report on James Hardie results.

Among other movers in Australia, Goodman Fielder Ltd. shot up 33% after Singapore-listed Wilmar International Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207345635/delayed SG:F34 +0.49% said it had bought a 10.1% stake in the grocery manufacturer. See report on Wilmar’s Goodman Fielder stake buy.

Billabong International Ltd.  lost 2.3% after the surf- and snow-wear retailer rejected a sweetened bid from U.S. private-equity firm TPG Capital. Read more about Billabong's rejection.

Property shares sagged on mainland Chinese bourses, meanwhile, coinciding with Credit Suisse research citing cuts in prices and pressure on profits. Read more on Credit Suisse report on Chinese real estate.

Among the major names, China Vanke Co.  fell 0.7% in Shenzhen, while Gemdale Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208026094/delayed CN:600383 +0.91%  dropped 0.7% in Shanghai.

/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
22,566.78
+522.13 +2.37%
Volume: 2.46M
Jan. 26, 2023 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
27,362.75
-32.26 -0.12%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 26, 2023 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.13
+0.04 +0.27%
Volume: 60.86M
Jan. 20, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
6.69
Dividend Yield
1.51%
Market Cap
¥293.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥4.43M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,468.65
+40.08 +1.65%
Volume: 486,832
Jan. 26, 2023 3:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,468.30
-22.10 -0.30%
Volume: 3,133
Jan. 27, 2023 9:11a
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/zigman2/quotes/201411224/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 31.44
+0.80 +2.61%
Volume: 2.25M
Jan. 25, 2023 4:10p
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/zigman2/quotes/200042563/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 22.57
+0.26 +1.17%
Volume: 46,665
Jan. 26, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
19.52
Dividend Yield
0.95%
Market Cap
$9.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208897707/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 3.56
+0.11 +3.19%
Volume: 2.45M
Jan. 25, 2023 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$3.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$323,084
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202320023/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 10.12
+0.44 +4.55%
Volume: 1,006
Jan. 26, 2023 3:19p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$2.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
$234,298
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 77,330.00
-110.00 -0.14%
Volume: 537,600
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
29.88
Dividend Yield
0.30%
Market Cap
¥7911.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥41.51M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203924235/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 59.55
-0.27 -0.45%
Volume: 6,734
Jan. 26, 2023 3:45p
P/E Ratio
29.75
Dividend Yield
0.57%
Market Cap
$61.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$321,009
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207666111/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 6,109.00
-20.00 -0.33%
Volume: 1.46M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
19.94
Dividend Yield
1.69%
Market Cap
¥5412.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥136.59M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203868267/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 46.59
+0.46 +1.01%
Volume: 500.00
Jan. 23, 2023 2:48p
P/E Ratio
20.12
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$41.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207394975/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,813.00
+12.00 +0.67%
Volume: 1.11M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.77
Dividend Yield
1.32%
Market Cap
¥300.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥74.98M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203458393/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 11.10
-0.39 -3.41%
Volume: 0.00
Nov. 13, 2020 5:19p
P/E Ratio
8.50
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
$597,704
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209410825/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 17.09
-0.01 -0.06%
Volume: 234,245
Jan. 26, 2023 3:56p
P/E Ratio
25.28
Dividend Yield
1.56%
Market Cap
$32.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
$740,669
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 22,270.00
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 532,900
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
26.53
Dividend Yield
2.26%
Market Cap
¥4271.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥91.95M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209396469/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.74
+0.08 +0.83%
Volume: 6,891
Jan. 26, 2023 3:59p
P/E Ratio
12.62
Dividend Yield
1.93%
Market Cap
$3.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
$242,507
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,275.00
+14.00 +1.11%
Volume: 2.38M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
13.37
Dividend Yield
3.14%
Market Cap
¥450.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥30.10M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 11,515.00
-150.00 -1.29%
Volume: 3.02M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
15.29
Dividend Yield
0.61%
Market Cap
¥14467.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥95.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 450.10
+5.70 +1.28%
Volume: 16.44M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
15.82
Dividend Yield
1.11%
Market Cap
¥1739.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥68.15M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207656007/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 6.99
+0.11 +1.60%
Volume: 134,471
Jan. 26, 2023 3:58p
P/E Ratio
15.24
Dividend Yield
0.66%
Market Cap
$13.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$549,103
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,325.00
-27.50 -2.03%
Volume: 6.18M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.72
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
¥2421.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥67.97M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201351352/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 5.07
-0.10 -1.84%
Volume: 45,826
Jan. 26, 2023 3:56p
P/E Ratio
10.24
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$18.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
$545,983
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 9,620.00
-220.00 -2.24%
Volume: 2.46M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
14.96
Dividend Yield
1.40%
Market Cap
¥1823.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥84.79M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202479540/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 73.05
-0.81 -1.10%
Volume: 4,320
Jan. 23, 2023 9:30a
P/E Ratio
14.23
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$13.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$680,167
loading...
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.00
0.00 0.00%
Volume:
P/E Ratio
0.00
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
$1.32M
loading...
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.00
0.00 0.00%
Volume:
P/E Ratio
0.00
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
$2.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208114856/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 5.32
-0.07 -1.21%
Volume: 1,477
Jan. 26, 2023 2:58p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$369,290
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 8.28
-0.10 -1.19%
Volume: 12.04M
Jan. 26, 2023 4:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$53.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.88M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200387630/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 4.47
-0.03 -0.67%
Volume: 25.00
Jan. 24, 2023 1:45p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$8.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$224,864
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205534063/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 6.47
+0.06 +0.94%
Volume: 5.26M
Jan. 25, 2023 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$11.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
$310,075
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202790240/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,893.00
+8.00 +0.28%
Volume: 1.94M
Jan. 26, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥1356.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥32.70M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200046541/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 4.40
-0.01 -0.23%
Volume: 79.00
Jan. 24, 2023 1:06p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$10.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
$260,867
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201710108/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 129.60
+1.40 +1.09%
Volume: 1.41M
Jan. 26, 2023 4:08p
P/E Ratio
26.96
Dividend Yield
3.01%
Market Cap
$245.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$6.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200398486/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 16.27
-0.09 -0.53%
Volume: 1.00
Jan. 3, 2023 12:12p
P/E Ratio
26.41
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$31.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$840,740
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 57.90
+1.00 +1.76%
Volume: 24.20M
Jan. 26, 2023 4:08p
P/E Ratio
12.39
Dividend Yield
3.65%
Market Cap
$1145.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.45M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207345635/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
$ 4.13
+0.02 +0.49%
Volume: 5.18M
Jan. 26, 2023 5:04p
P/E Ratio
8.30
Dividend Yield
4.00%
Market Cap
$25.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
$984,532
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208026094/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 9.95
+0.09 +0.91%
Volume: 46.39M
Jan. 20, 2023 3:00p
P/E Ratio
4.76
Dividend Yield
6.33%
Market Cap
¥44.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥1.97M
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Virginia Harrison is a MarketWatch reporter based in Sydney. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau.

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