Singapore/Tokyo: Asian stocks slid from a record after the U.S. dollar weakened against regional currencies, eroding the value of exporters’ dollar-denominated sales. Canon Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. declined.
“Exporter shares are reacting to the drop in the dollar,’’ said Masaru Hamasaki, senior strategist at Toyota Asset Management Co. which oversees $3.3 billion (Rs13,823 crore) in Tokyo.
BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Group led mining shares lower following a drop in metal prices.
The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index lost 0.7% to 148.25 as of 10:30 am in Tokyo after yesterday climbing to a record 149.27. Nine of the measure’s 10 industry groups fell.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 1.2% to 17,463.51, set for the biggest drop since 2 April. Markets open for trading elsewhere in the region also slid, with benchmarks in Australia, South Korea and China retreating from records.
Shares in the U.S. climbed, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record, after JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Washing Mutual Inc. reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The Dow average added 0.2%.
Canon, the world’s largest digital camera maker, dropped 1.7% to 6,540 yen. Samsung, which accounted for about 16% of South Korean exports last year, lost 1.4% to 575,000 won.
The yen recently traded at 118.26 against the dollar, compared with 119.74 yen on 16 April. The won gained to 926.60 to the dollar, set for its highest close since 3 January, according to Seoul Money Brokerage Services Ltd.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was at 83.86 U.S. cents, recently compared with 83.66 cents yesterday, and reached 83.92 cents, the highest since August 1990.
A weaker dollar means exporters get less for their U.S. sales when converted back into their local currencies, while their products become less competitive.
“Moves in the currency have got people wondering at its medium-term impact,’’ said Angus Gluskie, who helps manage about $380 million at White Funds Management in Sydney.
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s largest automaker, fell 0.6% to 7,290 yen. It generated more than a third of its fiscal 2006 revenue in North America.
BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, dropped 1.7% to A$29.88. Rio Tinto, the third largest, slid 1.3% to A$83.43.
A measure of six metals traded on the London Metal Exchange fell 1.1% yesterday. Copper futures fell 1% in London and 1.5% in New York. Tin plunged 8.7%.
Oxiana Ltd, the fastest-growing of Australia’s five largest mining companies, dropped 2.3% to A$3.02. The miner said zinc production slumped along with gold output, while copper production rose.