Asian stocks fell the most in six weeks, snapping a four-day rally, after National Australia Bank Ltd said credit losses may surge and Samsung Electronics Co’s profit missed estimates.
National Australia, the country’s biggest bank, and Australian & New Zealand Banking Group, the third-largest, plunged the most since the October 1987 stock market crash, dragging financial shares to their biggest drop since March. Samsung, Asia’s largest maker of flat screens, tumbled in Seoul.
AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the biggest maker of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels in Taiwan, slumped in Taipei after earnings fell short of estimates and Canon Inc retreated in Tokyo after profit dropped.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index lost 2.4 percent to 133.46 as of 7:55pm in Tokyo, the most since June 12 and extending its decline this year to 15 percent.
Taiwanese share prices may consolidate next week as market sentiment has turned cautious amid fears of a weakening US economy and volatility on Wall Street, dealers said on Friday.
They said foreign institutional investors continue to trim positions to meet fund redemption in the US and that apart from US woes, the market was also looking at oil prices, which remain high despite recent fallbacks.
For the week to Friday, the weighted index closed up 418.30 points or 6.14 percent at 7,233.62. The previous week, the index lost 5.93 percent.
Friday’s 1.82 percent fall compared with Thursday eroded some of the market’s gains earlier in the week.
“Friday’s retreat showed market confidence remains fragile,” Grand Cathay Securities (大華證券) analyst Mars Hsu said. “With many investors remaining on the sidelines, the market is expected to enter consolidation mode.”
Mega Securities Corp (兆豐證券) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said electronic heavyweights may attract most of the market attention as they are about to report second-quarter results.
Japanese share prices on Friday slid 1.97 percent from the previous day, dealers said.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Nikkei-225 index fell 268.55 points to close at 13,334.76, snapping a three-day winning streak.
The broader TOPIX index of all first-section shares slid 34.29 points or 2.57 percent to 1,298.28, dropping below the symbolic 1,300-point mark.
Hong Kong share prices closed 1.5 percent down, dealers said. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 347.01 points to 22,740.71.
Australian share prices plunged 3.37 percent, dealers said. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index finished down 173.6 points at 4,970.5, while the broader All Ordinaries shed 157.4 points or 3.03 percent to 5,031.
Chinese share prices closed 1.55 percent lower, dealers said. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, closed 45.19 points lower at 2,865.10.
South Korean share prices dropped 1.73 percent, analysts said. The benchmark KOSPI index fell 28.21 points to close at 1,597.93.
Singapore share prices closed 1.85 percent lower, dealers said. The blue-chip Straits Times Index fell 55.00 points to 2,922.91 on light volume of 834.57 million shares.
Philippine share prices closed down 0.9 percent, dealers said. The composite index gave up 23.19 points to 2,512.72, while the all-share index lost 13.40 points to 1,580.89.
India’s share prices closed down 3.4 percent, dealers said. The benchmark 30-share SENSEX index fell 502.07 points to 14,274.94.
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