It has been a fourth consecutive session for the fall of Asian stocks after Friday’s weak U.S. employment data and China’s faster-than-expected inflation numbers hurt risk appetite while Japanese exporters were hit by a stronger yen. Investor confidence in the U.S. economic recovery was shaken by a sharp slowdown in U.S. non-farm payrolls data released on Friday. The U.S. economy added only 120,000 jobs in March, below economists’ forecasts of 205,000.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index drew back 0.4 percent with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average down 1.5 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite index sliding 1.6 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 0.7 percent while Taiwan’s Taiex index slid 2.1 percent, as stated in a business magazine.
Price rise in China pushed down expectations for further monetary gains
Property developers and banking shares led to declines after China’s banking regulator commented that it would look into banks’ intermediary businesses, signaling lower service fees in the future. Price rise in China pushed down expectations for further monetary gains, easing to urge growth. A 3.6 percent rise was seen in the consumer prices in March from a year earlier after gaining 3.2 percent in February. China Citic Bank fell 1.4 percent while China Merchants Bank and Bank of Beijing dropped 1.1 percent each.
China’s biggest listed property developer by sales, China Vanke, dropped 1.7 percent and second-biggest Poly Real Estate Group lost 0.8 percent. Shipping firms were also under pressure among the uncertain global economic outlook. China Cosco dropped 2 percent and China Shipping Development fell 1.3 percent.
Among the major losers were financial firms in Seoul in the midst of growing uncertainty over the global economic outlook with Hana Financial Group down 2.3 percent, KB Financial dropping 3.2 percent and Woori Financial Group falling 3.9 percent. Samsung Electronics also extended to losses on profit-taking, falling 1.8 percent; after the company flagged it would report a record quarterly profit Friday.
Defense-related firms rallied in Seoul after state-run news agency said that North Korea was preparing a third nuclear weapons test. Victeck, an electronic warfare equipment maker, dropped by the daily limit of 15 per cent, Speco, a defense equipment manufacturer, fell 14 percent, while Huneed Technologies, a military communication equipment maker, jumped 12 per cent.
Energy producers were also mixed amid rumor that Iran’s oil exports may fall further ahead of the upcoming European ban on Iran’s oil. Quite a few Iranian media reported Friday that Iran stopped exporting oil to Greece and may also stop supplies to Royal Dutch Shell over unpaid bills. Japan Petroleum Exploration dipped 3.1 percent in Tokyo, Inpex fell 2.0 percent, while oil refiners S.K. Innovation rose 1.5 percent and S-Oil gained 0.9 percent.
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