Asian markets mostly lower after recent gains

Tokyo rises 0.30%, Sydney eases 0.15%, Seoul drops, Hong Kong ends flat, while Shanghai falls 0.98%
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First Published: Thu, Mar 07 2013. 08 19 AM IST
Investors took a breather after Wednesday’s rally, which was fuelled by the Dow hitting an all-time high the previous day. Photo: Reuters
Investors took a breather after Wednesday’s rally, which was fuelled by the Dow hitting an all-time high the previous day. Photo: Reuters
Updated: Thu, Mar 07 2013. 05 13 PM IST
Hong Kong: Asian stock markets on Thursday mostly reversed gains from the previous day even though the Dow hit another record on Wall Street, but Tokyo’s Nikkei was supported by a weaker yen.
Tokyo rose 0.30%, or 35.81 points, to 11,968.08 but Sydney eased 0.15%, or 7.6 points, to 5,109.2 and Seoul dropped 0.81%, or 16.34 points, to 2,004.40.
Hong Kong ended flat, dipping 6.40 points to 22,771.44. Shanghai fell 0.98%, or 22.89 points, to 2,324.29.
Investors took a breather after Wednesday’s rally, which was fuelled by the Dow hitting an all-time high the previous day.
The index extended its gains on Wednesday after data from payrolls firm ADP showed the private sector piled on 198,000 jobs last month, better than the average of the past six months.
The US Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report on conditions across the country said the US economy was expanding at a “modest to moderate pace”, but healthcare reforms and January tax rises were hitting consumer spending.
The Dow rose 0.30%, the S&P 500 edged up 0.11% and the Nasdaq was flat.
Eyes will now be on the labour department, which is expected to report Friday that the US jobless rate held at 7.9% for the second straight month amid modest job growth.
The upbeat jobs data from the US pushed the dollar up against the yen in New York late Wednesday. The greenback managed to hold up in Tokyo Thursday, in turn helping Japanese shares.
The dollar bought 94.02 yen in afternoon trade, compared with 94.04 yen in New York late Wednesday as the Bank of Japan held off any new policy moves at the end of a two-day meeting.
Attention will focus on the next gathering of the policy board, which will likely be the first under the stewardship of Haruhiko Kuroda, a finance veteran and strong supporter of monetary easing.
Also in forex trade, the euro fetched $1.2995 and 122.18 yen, from $1.2971 and 122.00 yen.
On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, fell eight cents to $90.35 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for April dipped 23 cents to $110.83 in afternoon Asian trade.
Gold was at $1,581.45 at 1115 GMT compared with $1,574.50 late Wednesday.
In other markets:
—Taipei rose 0.13%, or 10.21 points, to 7,960.51.
Smartphone maker HTC rose 4.11% to Tw$266.0 while TSMC fell 0.96% to Tw$103.0.
—Manila closed 1.61% lower, shedding 110.08 points to 6,725.13.
Ayala Land led the retreat, falling 5.63% to 31 pesos, while its parent Ayala Corp. dropped 4.10% to 562 pesos and Metropolitan Bank shed 4.25% to end at 115 pesos.
—Wellington closed 0.83% higher, adding 35.51 points to 4,333.48.
Sky Television added 2.6% to NZ$5.20 and Telecom rose 2.0% to NZ$2.35, while Air New Zealand was up 2.41% at NZ$1.49 and Fletcher Building rose 0.87% to NZ$9.26.
—Singapore rose 0.20%, or 6.73 points, to 3,298.54.
Property developer Capitaland declined 1.32% to Sg$3.73 and Singapore Airlines advanced 0.18% to Sg$10.92.
—Jakarta closed up 0.49%, or 23.61 points, at 4,848.29.
Car maker Astra International rose 1.23% to 8,200 rupiah, and mobile phone provider Indosat gained 2.33% to 6,600 rupiah.
—Kuala Lumpur shares slipped 0.10% to close at 1,650.93.
UEM Land Holdings dropped 2.8% to 2.47 ringgit while Genting lost 1.2% to end at 9.90.
—Bangkok edged up 0.10%, or 1.63 points, to 1,560.98.
Coal producer Banpu rose 1.29% to 393.00 baht, PTT slipped 0.29% to 339.00 baht.
—Mumbai rose 0.84%, or 160.93 points, to 19,413.54 points.
India’s biggest software outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose 2.10% to Rs.1,590.45 while engineering firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd rose 2.08% to Rs.1,463.45. AFP
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First Published: Thu, Mar 07 2013. 08 19 AM IST
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