Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index snapping its longest streak of weekly gains in more than two years, as concern about financial risks in Europe spurred a rally in the yen.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.09 percent to 145.98 in Hong Kong, the first such decline in nine weeks after equity valuations touched the highest this year. Japan’s TOPIX posted its steepest weekly retreat since April.
European and US shares slid overnight amid concern over missed debt payments by a company linked to Portugal’s second-largest lender. Portugal’s central bank said Banco Espirito Santo SA is protected after its parent did not make the payments on short-term paper.
“The very benign attitude to risk that we’ve seen in markets recently was an accident waiting to happen,” Chris Green, director of economics and strategy in Auckland at First NZ Capital, said by telephone.
The Portugal situation “is not a sufficient enough catalyst to provoke a significant reassessment, but it is a shot across the bow. It highlights the risks inherent in the euro zone’s vulnerabilities,” he said.
In Taipei, the TAIEX dropped 0.7 percent this week to 9,495.84. Despite the pullback, select stocks remained resilient, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the market. TSMC rallied on better-than-expected second-quarter sales, dealers said.
In the old economy sector, Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) bucked the downturn on Friday after reporting a robust improvement in earnings for the first half of the year, they said.
TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, advanced 1.49 percent on Friday to close at NT$136.50 after it posted NT$183.02 billion in consolidated sales, up 23.48 percent from the previous quarter and above its estimates of NT$180 billion to NT$183 billion.
Nan Ya rose 2.11 percent to end at NT$72.50, as the company enjoyed a 79.1 percent year-on-year increase in net profit in the first half.
Meanwhile, the TOPIX fell 0.3 percent, extending this week’s decline to 2.3 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.7 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.4 percent, as iron-ore producers advanced.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index plummeted 0.5 percent, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.6 percent.
Markets in Thailand were closed on Friday for a holiday.
Japanese exporters slid. Honda Motor Co, which gets about 84 percent of its revenue abroad, fell 1.6 percent to ￥3,515. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, Japan’s largest bank that makes more than 30 percent of sales overseas, slipped 1 percent to ￥599, capping a 4.9 percent weekly slump.
AAC Technologies Holdings Inc, which supplies speakers to Apple Inc, dropped 4.9 percent in Hong Kong after BNP Paribas SA reduced its rating on the stock.
Canon Inc gained 2.4 percent in Tokyo after the Nikkei Shimbun reported that the printer maker would report second-quarter profit of about ￥110 billion (US$1.1 billion) — higher than analysts’ expectations.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed at 23,233.45 and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland Chinese stocks listed in the territory rose 0.1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent after the gauge declined 0.4 percent on Thursday.