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Market Update

Asian Markets End Lower; Shanghai Bucks Trend

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Asian markets ended lower Friday following overnight losses on Wall Street although mainland Chinese stocks bucked the trend as property stocks advanced.

The Shanghai Composite recovered from yesterday's losses and ended 0.6% higher. But other indexes in the region extended yesterday's slide after weak flash China PMI data raised concerns about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

Overnight cues from Wall Street were also not encouraging. Stocks in the U.S. closed Thursday's session in the red as investors digested a disappointing unemployment report and some earnings announcements.

The Hang Seng retreated 1.2% while the All Ordinaries declined 0.4%. The BSE Sensex was down 1.1% and the Nikkei dropped 1.9%.

The dollar turned lower against most major currencies after the release of the weekly jobless claims data yesterday in the U.S.

Stocks on the Move

A stronger currency weighed on exporters in Tokyo. Panasonic Corp. fell 3.7% and Fujitsu dropped 3.6%. Hitachi fell 3.4% while in auto, Toyota reversed 1.4%. Mazda and Honda erased 2.4% each, respectively.

Nissan was up initially but ended just 0.2% lower, outperforming other auto stocks after it said it would take its alliance with Renault a step further by pooling manufacturing facilities and bringing production and development departments under joint operations management.

Chipmaker Sumco Corp. deleted 3.7%.

Financials and resources stocks were also broadly lower. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho erased 2.8% and 2.1% each, respectively. Kobe Steel weakened 2.2%.

In Hong Kong, Lenovo Group pared gains of over 3% but still ended 1.4% higher after the personal computer giant said yesterday it would purchase IBM's low-end server business for $2.3 billion.

Metal players were also gainers but were offset by losses in financials. Index heavyweight and global banking giant HSBC Holdings erased 0.8% while ICBC was down 0.6%. ICBC fell after the bank finally agreed to step down from its earlier position and reportedly said it will help rescue investors in a troubled high-yield investment scheme that it helped market.

On the mainland, property developers led the index higher. Gemdale Corp. gained 1.5% while Poly Real Estate Group bounced 3%. China Vanke rose 3.9%.

In Sydney, banks and retailers ended weak amid growth concerns. Top banks NAB, Westpac, and ANZ all lost a percent each.

Retailer Reject Shop Ltd. plunged 32% leading the declines for retailers after the discount store operator forecast a decline in profit for the first fiscal half.

Uniqlo apparel stores operator Fast Retailing said it plans to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange as part of its efforts to boost its brand recognition in China. Shares of Fast Retailing ended down 1.6%, though.

Myer Holdings lost 4.2% while David Jones gave up 4%.

But miners helped curtail some of these losses. Rio Tinto added 0.8% while gold miners Newcrest Mining and Perseus Mining enjoyed robust gains, up 3.8% and 3.9% each, respectively.

Ranbaxy Laboratories tumbled 15.5% in Mumbai after health regulators in the U.S. banned imported drugs from an overseas unit operated by Ranbaxy due to quality control violations.

Top losers on the Sensex included BHEL, down 3.4%, Tata Steel and Tata Motors, both down 3.3% each, respectively, SSLT, down 2.9%, L&T, down 2.6%, and SBI, down 2.1%.

Rouhan Sharma does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.