Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Asian Stocks Fall As Earnings Slump Oveweight U.S. Data

By Kana Nishizawa - Aug 15, 2012 6:05 AM GMT+0400

Asian stocks slid a third time in four days as companies including Gree Inc. forecast profits that disappointed investors. Losses were limited after better-than- estimated U.S. retail sales and German growth eased concern a global slowdown is deepening.
Gree slid 5.6 percent in Tokyo after the social networking company forecast operating profit that missed estimates. China Life Insurance Co. declined 2.1 percent in Hong Kong after premium revenue fell at the mainland’s biggest insurer. Great Wall Motor Co. slid 1.7 percent after the Chinese automaker said it’s investigating a media report that asbestos was found in some of its cars sold in Australia.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell 0.3 percent to 120.02 as of 10:39 a.m. in Tokyo, with almost twice as many stocks declining as rising. The index fell 6.7 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday amid concern earnings would be hurt by Europe’s debt crisis and slower growth in China.
“China’s economic slowdown remains a concern and that could be tough for cyclical sectors, exporters and manufacturers,” said Shintaro Takeuchi, Tokyo-based fund manager at Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. which oversees $109 billion in assets. “A recovery in theU.S. economy was helping market sentiment, but it’s been priced in.”
Asia’s benchmark equity index traded at 12.4 times estimated earnings compared with 13.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 11.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nikkei 225

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) retreated 0.2 percent after a private survey showed consumer confidence fell by the most in five months as the country’s households bristled at the highest interest rates among major developed nations.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 0.8 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent. South Korea’s markets are closed for a holiday today.
U.S. retail sales climbed more than forecast in July as consumer spending rebounded at department stores, car dealerships and electronics outlets. The 0.8 percent advance, the first gain in four months, followed a 0.7 percent drop in June, Commerce Department figures showed. Economists projected a 0.3 percent increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
In Europe, Germany’s gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent from the first quarter, more than the 0.2 percent predicted by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. French GDP was unchanged in the quarter, better than the 0.1 percent decline economists had predicted.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kana Nishizawa in Hong Kong atknishizawa5@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net