Tokyo: Asian markets were mixed on Thursday following the previous day’s plunge, with Tokyo stocks edging up and Hong Kong shares inching down as investors remained cautious in the wake of Wall Street’s recent retreat.
Stocks in Australia, China and Taiwan rose, while Malaysian, Philippine and South Korean share prices fell.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 113.13 points, or 0.67%, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange to 16,984.11 points. Wednesday it fell 2.2% to 16,870.98 points, dragged to its lowest close since March 16 by disappointing earnings from Japan’s megabanks and Wall Street’s earlier retreat.
Investors snapped up real estate shares Thursday, a day after the government reported Japanese land prices posted a second straight year of increase.
Gainers included Mitsubishi Estate Co., which climbed 6.31%, and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., which added 3.76%.
Banking stocks continued to slump, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. shedding 1.65% and Resona Holdings Inc. dropping 3.25%.
In Hong Kong, shares slipped a second straight session, led by profit-taking in some heavyweights and weighed down by the lower-than-expected first-half earnings of Bank of East Asia.
The blue chip Hang Seng Index fell 12.11 points, or 0.05%, to 22,443.25. The index fell 3.1%. Wednesday and was down as down as much as a further 1.4% early Thursday before trimming its losses as some investors went bargain-hunting for selective stocks.
Analysts said the local stock market will continue to consolidate in the near term on lingering concerns over the health of U.S. credit markets.
Leading the day’s decline was mid-sized lender Bank of East Asia, which slumped 4.3% after it reported a lower-than-expected first-half net profit.
In currency trading in Tokyo, the dollar was trading at 118.80 yen at 2:50 p.m. (0550 GMT), up from 118.55 yen late Wednesday in New York. The euro fell to US$1.3662 from US$1.3656.
Bagkok: Thai shares fell 0.4% amid worries the U.S. credit industry woes might spark a global economic slowdown. Traders said the downside may be limited as bargain hunting is likely to emerge. The Thai stock exchange’s key index lost 3.18 points to close at 830.29.
Jakarta: Indonesian share prices recovered as the rebound in most Asian markets helped improve sentiment on the local bourse. The JSX Index rose 0.6 percent to 2,270.854 in moderate volumes.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian shares fell 0.5 % to 1,333.28 points on follow-through selling due to concerns over credit risk in the U.S. and a weaker ringgit.
Manila: Philippine shares plummeted for the second straight session, with wary investors taking advantage of a brief run-up to quickly take profits in anticipation of more volatility on Wall Street. The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 67.43 points, or 1.97%, to 3,359.02, its lowest finish since May 10.
Seoul: South Korean shares ended slightly lower despite positive overnight cues from Wall Street, with sentiment weakening on continued foreign selling and ongoing concern about credit risks in the U.S. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, closed 3.38 points, or 0.2%, lower at 1,853.07 after trading in a wide range and drifting into positive territory several times.
Shanghai: Chinese stocks rebounded, led by banks and property firms, but concerns Beijing will take more measures to cool stocks may limit further gains. The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 2.5% at 4,407.73. The Shenzhen Composite Index rose 4.1%to 1,293.14.
Sydney: Australian stocks closed higher after volatile trading that saw the benchmark stock index down at one point to its lowest level since March. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed up 70.6 points, or 1.2%, at 6,011.8.
Taipei: Taiwan shares rose as the index recovered partially from the previous session’s sharp decline on bargain hunting in heavyweights such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and United Microelectronics. The financial subindex lost ground due to ongoing concern over U.S. mortgage woes. The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange rose 58.69 points, or 0.7%, to close at 8,950.57 points.
Wellington: New Zealand shares closed lower, reversing an early rally as investors were unconvinced by a late rebound on Wall Street. The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 20.2 points, or 0.5%, at 4,138.20 after being up around 15 points in early trading.