Thursday, March 29, 2012

asian stock markets, Nikkei down march 30 2012

asian stock markets, Nikkei down march 30 2012, asian stock markets march 30 2012 ; Asia's major stock markets were mostly lower Friday as nervous investors turned their focus to China after digesting a report showing a slowdown in Japanese industrial production.

Sentiment in stock markets was hurt by news that Japan's factory production fell a worse-than-expected 1.2 percent in February _ its first decline in three months _ as demand for exports weakened.

There was also nervousness ahead of the release Sunday of an official gauge of China's manufacturing known as the Purchasing Managers Index. A smaller private sector index released earlier this month showed that manufacturing had continued to contract.

The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo fell 0.4 percent to 10,073.75.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent to 20,448.97, stung by a sharp sell-off in shares of Sun Hung Kai Properties. Its stock plummeted 11.5 percent after Thomas and Raymond Kwok, the two billionaire brothers who run the territory's biggest property developer, were arrested in a corruption probe along with a former senior government official.

South Korea's Kospi index was little changed at 2,014.44. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 4,342.30.

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