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Market Update

Asian Markets End Mostly Lower

Most Asian bourses traded lower Friday after downbeat results from a couple of U.S. tech giants dampened sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite fell 1.5% and the Nikkei was down 1.5% too. The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries slipped 0.4% but the Hang Seng managed to eke out a marginal gain of 0.1%.

Mumbai's Sensex, too, finished up 0.1% after IT services exporter Tata Consultancy Services reported better-than-expected results late yesterday.

Market sentiment turned negative at open despite a record finish for Wall Street equities overnight. Some corporate earnings were in focus.

Software giant Microsoft reported fourth-quarter results that missed expectations as it booked a large writeoff to its Surface RT business.

Internet giant Google, on the other hand, posted a 16% hike in second-quarter profit but the results came in short of analyst estimates. Chipmaker AMD swung to a second-quarter loss amid lower chip sales while Intel lowered its profit outlook for the remainder of 2013.

Investors in Tokyo, meanwhile, moved to the sidelines ahead of this weekend's upperhouse elections, which economists believe would be crucial for the future course of Japan's economic policies.

Stocks on the Move

Tech players in the region were in focus following results overnight from their U.S. peers.

Chip maker Advantest Corp. plunged 7% while Tokyo Electron Ltd. slumped 5.7%. Sumco Corp. erased 2.7%.

Some car manufacturers and electronics exporters, however, bucked the trend. Honda Motor drove up 0.5%, while Sharp Corp. edged up 0.9% after a Nikkei report suggested the company is seeking funds from building materials producer LIXIL Group and power tools manufacturer Makita Corp.

Financials were also on the upside -- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 0.8% while Mizuho Financial Group climbed 0.5%.

In Hong Kong, property developers extended losses. Poly Property Group tumbled 3.6% while China Resources Land erased 2.7%.

Some financials and resources stocks, however, moved against the tide -- offsetting losses on the benchmark index.

Index heavyweight and global banking giant HSBC Holdings gained 1.2% while Hang Seng Bank edged up 0.3%.

Among commodity-linked stocks, gold miner Zijin Mining soared over 7% while coal miner China Shenhua Energy rose 3.4% and China Coal Energy gained 0.7%.

Casino players added to the gains -- Wynn Macau bounced 4.5% while Galaxy Entertainment added 0.4%and Sands China added 1.6%.

Mumbai-listed IT firms gained ground after second-quarter results from TCS topped expectations.

TCS was the top gainer, up 4.9% while Infosys added 1.7% and Wipro improved 1.5%.

Autoplayers were among other gainers on the 30-share benchmark index. Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Tata Motors all zoomed ahead in the range of 2.5% to 3.5%.

In Sydney, mining shares were mostly laggards in today's trade. Index leader BHP Billiton fell 1.1% while close rival Rio Tinto shed 0.8%.

On the other side, diversified miner Fortescue Metals Group inched up 0.3% while gold miner Newcrest Mining was 1.6% brighter.

Among banks, NAB finished flat, Westpac Banking lost 1.4% and ANZ erased 1%.

Surfwear retailer Billabong International extended its recent string of sharp gains, adding 9.6% after reports said Australian regulator has turned down a request from Oaktree Capital Management & Centrebridge Partners to delay the company's $359 million refinancing deal on anti-trust concerns.

Oil firm Santos fell 3.7% after slashing its oil and gas production forecasts.

Mining services provider Orica Ltd. plunged 13.4% after the company said it expected earnings to fall in this fiscal year due to higher costs and weaker-than-expected market conditions in Europe and North America.