Asian markets were all lower barring the Sensex following a negative lead from Wall Street overnight.
Earlier, data showed Japanese machinery orders fell in April from March although the drop was smaller than expected. Orders fell 9.1%, better than expectations for a fall of 11.9%.
In Australia, data showed the unemployment rate held steady at a seasonally adjusted 5.8% in May. The number of employed people fell by 4,800, confounding expectations for a rise of 10,000.
Stocks on the Move
Toyota Motors edged up 0.1%. The company announced another vehicle recall in the U.S.
Fanuc dropped 2.2% after the data on machinery orders. Kawasaki Heavy Industries fell 0.8%. However, Mitsubishi Heavy gained 1.3% on a news report the company will join a consortium with Germany’s Siemens to bid against GE for Alstom’s power assets. Hitachi fell a percent after a company executive said Thursday it too would work with Mitsubishi for the bid.
Tokyo Dome fell 3.1% after its results.
Also among the gainers, Japan Tobacco was up 2.2% after the company announced a deal to buy British group Zandera for an undisclosed amount.
In Hong Kong, China Mengniu Diary dropped almost 3% after a broker downgrade.
Property stocks were the other big losers as Hang Lung Properties retreated 1.7% and Cheung Kong Holdings fell 1.3%. Wharf Holdings edged down 0.2%.
China Innovationpay Group fell 3.3% after the country’s central bank late Wednesday in its 2013 annual report warned about "increasing risks" in internet financing activities.
In Mumbai, the top gainers were Hindalco, up 3.3%, followed by HDFC Bank, up 2.5%, Sun Pharma, up 2.2%, HDFC, up 2%, and TCS, up 1.2%.
Infosys was down 0.4% at the time of writing after gaining as much as 3.3% earlier as the company announced a new CEO – Vishal Sikka – a former SAP AG executive. This is the first time Infosys will have a non-founder as its CEO. Sikka joins at a time when almost a senior dozen executives have left the company in the recent past – ever since co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy returned as chairman last year.
Over in Sydney, Mineral Resources sank 4.3% after the company admitted buying a large stake in iron-ore prospector Aquila Resources but squashed rumours it was planning a rival takeover bid against China’s Baosteel Group. Aquila shares were down 1.9%.
Fortescue Metals was down 4.6% while Atlas Iron weakened 3.9%. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were down 0.6% and 1.1% each, respectively.