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Sun, May 11, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Asian stocks snap two-week rally

REGIONAL DIPFinancial companies registered the biggest drop this week on the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index, which registered its first weekly decline in three weeks

BLOOMBERG AND AFP , HONG KONG

A woman takes pictures outside the HSBC building in Hong Kong yesterday. The Hang Seng index shed 386.62 points to close at 25,063.17 on Friday, dealers said.

PHOTO: AFP

Asian stocks fell this week, snapping a two-week rally, led by banks and oil refiners on concern earnings at banks and automakers will slow with record oil prices and a slowing US economy.

Kookmin Bank, South Korea’s biggest bank, had its biggest weekly fall this year after first-quarter profit fell by almost half. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (中國石油化學) and PetroChina (中國石油天然氣), China’s two largest refiners, declined as oil prices touched a record.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index lost 1.8 percent to 148.92 this week, its first weekly decline in three weeks. A measure of financial companies had the biggest decline among the 10 industry groups on the benchmark.

TAIPEI

Taiwanese share prices closed down 0.84 percent on Friday.

The weighted index closed down 74.23 points at 8,792.39 on turnover of NT$131.53 billion (US$4.27 billion).

TOKYO

Japanese share prices closed more than 2 percent lower, weighed down by disappointing earning results from auto giant Toyota and a stronger yen, which is bad for exporters, dealers said.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index fell 287.92 points or 2.06 percent to close at 13,655.34. The broader TOPIX index of all first-section shares dropped 31.19 points or 2.27 percent to end at 1,341.76.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong shares prices closed down 1.52 percent, dealers said.

The Hang Seng index closed down 386.62 points at 25,063.17.

SYDNEY

Australia’s share market closed up 0.9 percent, dealers said.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained 48.6 points to close at 5,771.8 and the broader All Ordinaries index added 43.5 points to 5,844.4.

SHANGHAI

Chinese share prices closed down 1.19 percent, dealers said.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, closed down 43.35 points at 3,613.49.

The Shanghai A-share Index shed 1.19 percent to 3,791.52. The Shenzhen A-share Index fell 0.47 percent to 1,152.61. The Shanghai B-share Index was down 0.75 percent to 258.01. The Shenzhen B-share Index fell 0.34 percent to 561.96.

SEOUL

South Korean shares closed 1.3 percent lower, dealers said.

The KOSPI index ended down 24.30 points at 1,823.70.

SINGAPORE

Singapore share prices closed down 0.31 percent, dealers said.

The blue-chip Straits Times Index closed 9.85 points lower at 3,162.03.

“In the longer term, high oil prices must have some fundamental impact,” said Chan Tuck Sing, dealing director at UOB Kay Hian.

KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysian share prices closed 0.4 percent higher, dealers said.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) closed up 4.92 points at 1,285.27.

MUMBAI

Indian share prices closed 2.01 percent lower, dealers said.

The benchmark Mumbai 30-share SENSEX fell 343.58 points to 16,737.07 points.

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