Skip to Content
Market Update

Asian Stocks Slide Amid Growth Concerns

Asian markets lost ground as growth concerns weighed following disappointing economic reports from China and the U.S.

Japan’s Nikkei led the declines – the index was down 2.2% as the yen grew stronger against the U.S. dollar and the euro.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng erased 1.1%,  Australia’s Australia's All Ordinaries slipped 0.1% while India’s Sensex lost 0.3% at 10:05 a.m. IST.

The Shanghai Composite , however, bucked the trend and added 0.7%

Investors took risk off the table in the Asian session, following overnight losses on Wall Street after data showed U.S. housing starts logged their worst drop in almost three years in January.

Global growth concerns deepened after the HSBC flash China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for February came in lower than expected. According to the report, industrial activity was at its weakest level in seven months.

Stocks on the Move

Exporters dipped into the red on account of the yen's strength. In a risk-averse session, investors usually flock to safer assets like gold, bonds or currencies perceived to be relatively safer, like the yen.

Komtasu Ltd. lost 3.3%, Mazda Motor Corp. reversed 2.9% and Toshiba was down 2.5%.

Financials, retailers, realty players and shipping companies were under equal selling pressure amid global growth woes.

In Hong Kong, metal players were trading weak following the dismal Chinese data. Jiangxi Copper gave up 2.8% and Angang Steel erased 0.8%.

Financials logged heavy losses too -- largest lender ICBC slid 2.7%, Agricultural Bank retreated nearly 3% while Bank of Communications erased 2.5%.

Oil stocks, however, were among the rare gainers in Hong Kong. China Petroleum soared 10% after the refiner said it plans to sell around 30% of its oil retail unit to private investors.

Others gained ground too -- Sinopec Shanghai enhanced around 5% while PetroChina added 2.4%.

Some corporate earnings were in focus in Sydney. Fairfax Media soared around 23% while AMP Ltd. bounced 8% after announcing results.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. jumped over 5% on heels of upbeat results.

Magellan Financial Group pared earlier gains and slipped 0.7% despite posting a 137% hike in half-year adjusted profit.

PanAust tumbled over 5% while Sandfire Resources was 1.4% lower after posting lower than estimated results.

Origin Energy fell 2% after the energy company posted a decline in its first-half profit.

In Mumbai, stocks pushed lower at open tracking weakness in global sentiment.

Top losers on the benchmark index were Tata Steel, down 2.3%, Tata Power, down 1.6%, SBI and ICICI Bank, down 1.5% each while Axis Bank retreated around a percent.