Sun, Feb 17, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Stocks in Asia falter as TOPIX snaps win streak

Bloomberg

Asian stocks dropped for the first week in three, with Japan’s TOPIX halting its longest winning streak in 40 years, after earnings reports from Nissan Motor Co and Gree Inc disappointed investors.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent to 132.84, closing the week within 1 percent of its highest since August 2011. Markets in Taiwan, Vietnam and China were shut for the holidays and the trading week was shortened in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has advanced about 10 percent since November last year, led by Japanese shares, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to beat deflation and pushed the central bank to ease monetary policy.

Asia’s benchmark trades at 14.7 times average estimated earnings compared with 13.7 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The TAIEX closed Feb. 6 up 0.25 percent at 7,906.65 as markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. The Taipei bourse resumes normal operations tomorrow.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1.3 percent this week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent.

South Korea’s KOSPI added 1.6 percent. The benchmark retreated on Feb. 12 after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test and warned of further action.

The TOPIX, Japan’s broadest share gauge, declined 1.6 percent, halting a 13-week run of gains that was the longest such streak since 1973. Shares slid as the yen strengthened, the Bank of Japan refrained from adding stimulus, and a report showed the economy shrank for a third quarter.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.2 percent after dropping the previous week.

Nissan dropped 5.6 percent to ¥932 this week in Tokyo. Japan’s second-biggest carmaker reported third-quarter profit that fell short of analysts’ estimates after sales tumbled in China and new models trailed competitors in the US.

Gree slumped 22 percent to ¥1,086 after the social network operator cut its profit goal on new game delays and slower-than-expected overseas sales.

In other markets on Friday:

‧ Manila gained 0.13 percent, or 8.23 points, from Thursday to 6,521.64.

‧ Wellington ended 1.00 percent lower, sliding 42.46 points from Thursday to 4,196.74.

‧ Mumbai fell 0.15 percent, or 29.03 points, from Thursday to 19,468.15.

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