Asian markets were down Wednesday tracking losses in U.S. markets overnight.
Chinese markets were weighed by bank shares after news that four state-owned banks and a former state policy bank will issue a total of 19 billion yuan worth of negotiable certificates of deposits, raising concerns about a short-term pressure on profits. Unlike ordinary deposits, the interest rate on the new certificates requires the banks to negotiate the cost of capital between themselves.
Investors are also focused on the conclusion of a meeting of senior officials that began Tuesday to review the year’s economic progress and chart out plans for 2014.
A stronger yen weighed on Japanese exporters.
Stocks on the Move
Kyocera Corp. fell 1.5% in Tokyo while Tokyo Electron was down 2.2%. Mazda Motor reversed a percent and Olympus Corp. dropped 2.4%.
In Hong Kong, AgBank fell 2.3% while China Construction was down 2.4%. Index heavyweight HSBC Holdings declined almost a percent after the bank said it agreed to sell its 8% stake in Bank of Shanghai to Spain’s Banco Santander.
Losers outnumbered gainers in Mumbai with ONGC the top loser, down 2.9%, followed by Tata Motors, down 2.7%, and BHEL and SBI, down 2.2% each, respectively.
Gail India fell 2% while L&T, TCS, Airtel, ICICI Bank, Tata Power, and RIL were all lower in a range between 1% and 1.5%.
Australian markets were down for a fifth straight session. QBE Insurance was up 1.8% after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock following a 32% fall in its share price on Monday and Tuesday.
Index leader BHP Billiton sank 1.7% while Rio Tinto was off 0.7%.