Most Asian shares mixed after Wall Street tumble

Most Asian shares mixed after Wall Street tumble

Hong Kong: Asian stocks were mixed Monday as more heavy selling on Wall Street, a stronger yen and Chinese economic fears were tempered by gains in Seoul and Hong Kong, which both broke long losing streaks.

Tokyo fell 0.70%, or 66.23 points, to 9,448.21 and Shanghai shed 0.18%, or 4.76 points, to 2,700.38.

But Seoul edged up 0.10%, or 2.07 points, to 2,048.74 and Hong Kong closed 0.39% higher, adding 87.71 points to 22,508.08. Both markets had finished in negative territory for the previous seven sessions.

Sydney was closed for a public holiday.

Markets were subdued as dealers grow increasingly concerned over the state of the global economy, with US data pointing to a slowdown in the recovery there, while China’s growth also looks to be easing.

On Wall Street on Friday the Dow shed 1.42%, the S&P 500 lost 1.40% and the tech-rich Nasdaq lost 1.53%.

The Dow has now posted a loss for the past six consecutive weeks for the first time since 2002 as recent jobs data and manufacturing figures suggest the economy is weakening.

In Tokyo on Monday, exporters were weighed as the yen strengthened against the euro amid worries about the European sovereign debt crisis.

The European common currency was sold off after news last week that authorities were looking at a potential Greek debt “rescheduling".

The euro saw its steepest one-day sell-off for a month on Friday, sliding to ¥115.23 from ¥116.42 the previous day.

In early European trade Monday the single currency was at ¥115.31.

“The current level of the euro still is too high for us," said Daisuke Karakama, market economist at the forex division of Mizuho Corporate Bank. “It’s not too wise to keep a long position now."

The Nikkei was also hit by a 2.42% loss on Toyota Motor, which was sold after it projected net profit for the fiscal year ending 31 March would drop 31% to ¥280 billion, even lower than analysts’ forecasts.

The euro edged down to $1.4342 from $1.4348 late on Friday in New York while the dollar fetched ¥80.39 against ¥80.31.

The New Zealand dollar tumbled against the greenback after Christchurch was hit by a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake Monday, its third since September.

The “Kiwi" sank to US$0.8128 after hitting a record high US$0.8298 on Friday.

Shanghai shares tumbled because of worries about a liquidity squeeze after figures showed new loans by banks in May fell sharply from the previous month as the government tries to rein in the flood of cash that is stoking inflation.

Lenders handed out 551.6 billion yuan ($85.14 billion) in loans last month, compared with 739.6 billion yuan in April -- and 100.5 billion yuan less than a year earlier, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, lost 54 cents to $98.75 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for July was down 27 cents to $118.51 in the afternoon.

Gold closed at $1,530.00-$1,531.00 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from Friday’s day’s close of $1,542.70-$1,543.70.