Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Asian stock markets down 8/28/2012

Asian stock markets down 8/28/2012 : Asian stock markets were mixed during late Asian trade on Tuesday, as lingering concerns over the outlook for global growth prompted investors to shun riskier assets.

Investors also looked ahead to a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at an annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the end of the week, amid ongoing speculation over how close the U.S. central bank is to implementing more stimulus measures.

During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index eased up a modest 0.1%, Australia’s ASX/200 Index added 0.35%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index ended down 0.6%.

Asian equities have rallied in recent weeks amid growing hopes policymakers in the U.S., Europe and China will introduce fresh easing measures to prop up their respective economies.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional oversight panel last week that the U.S. central bank has room to deliver additional monetary easing to stimulate growth in the U.S. economy.

Growing expectations that the European Central Bank will implement policy measures to help stabilize the euro zone's sovereign debt markets at its next policy meeting in early September further supported the market.

ECB President Mario Draghi will speak at Jackson Hole on Saturday.

However, renewed concern over China’s cooling economy and fears that the debt crisis in the euro zone will worsen have dampened sentiment in recent sessions.

Europe and China are crucial markets for the region's exporters.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei ended lower after the Japanese government cut its economic forecast for the first time since October 2011, citing slumping exports in the face of slowing global growth.

Automakers gave up earlier gains to trade lower, with Honda down 1.9%, Toyota retreating 1.25% and Nissan losing 2.1%.

But shares in troubled electronics manufacturer Sharp rallied 9.1% as investors covered short positions after Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry said it was planning to take a 9.9% stake in the Japanese company.

Elsewhere, shares in Hong Kong swung between modest gains and losses in rangebound trade as markets treaded water before a central bankers' meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday.

Growing concerns over a slowdown in corporate earnings has weighed on markets in China and Hong Kong in recent weeks.

Shares in the world's biggest contract maker of mobile phone Foxconn International tumbled 6.6% after posting its worst ever first-half net loss due to a slump in orders from key clients such as Nokia.

China Southern Airlines dropped 3.6% as first-half profit declined 85%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia ended mildly higher, but gains were limited after Newcrest Mining saw shares slump 2.1% after saying production at its Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea was suspended amid a dispute with landowners.

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