Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Asian Stocks Slide to Lowest Since January on U.S. Data

By Yoshiaki Nohara - Jun 6, 2013 7:10 AM GMT+0400
Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading to a four-month low, after U.S. jobs and factory data missed estimates and investors speculated whether the Federal Reserve will scale back bond purchases. Japanese shares swung between gains and losses.
Techtronic Industries Co. (669), a maker of power tools that gets 73 percent of its sales in North America, dropped 4.1 percent in Hong Kong. Rinnai Corp. (5947), a manufacturer of gas appliances, slumped 8.4 percent in Tokyo as it plans to raise as much as 22.5 billion yen ($227 million) in a share sale. Tokyo Electric Power Co. tumbled 8.6 percent, leading Japanese utilities lower.
Asian Stocks Fall as U.S. Jobs, Factory Data Miss Estimates
Pedestrians walk past an electronic stock board displaying the closing figure of the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, top right, outside a securities firm in Tokyo on June 5, 2013. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
June 6 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. Vice Chairman John Rice talks about investment opportunities in Myanmar and the prospects for the nation's economic growth. He speaks from the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, with Haslinda Amin on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move." (Source: Bloomberg)
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.7 percent to 131.37 as of 12:08 p.m. in Tokyo. More than three shares fell for each that rose on the gauge, which is heading for the lowest close since Jan. 28. The measure fell 8.3 percent through yesterday from this year’s high on May 20 amid concern the Federal Reserve may soon scale back stimulus and as Japanese stock indexes entered a correction last week.
“The Fed is putting out a feeler in the market with a stimulus-exit debate,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management Co., which oversees the equivalent of $70 billion. “The market gets sold after mediocre economic reports, while being bought on good ones. It’s repeating that zigzag pattern.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 2.3 percent this year through yesterday. The measure yesterday traded at 12.9 times average estimated earnings, compared with 14.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 13 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Volatility Swings

Japan’s Topix index slid 1 percent, having swung between a gain of 0.8 percent and a loss of 1.6 percent after plunging 3.2 percent yesterday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.5 percent, after rising as much as 1.7 percent earlier.
The Topix is down 15 percent from a May 22 five-year high. Japanese stock prices are swinging by the most in more than two years, with a measure of 15-day historic volatility on the Topix jumping to 44.31 yesterday, the highest since immediately after the nation’s 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. Japan’s broadest equity measure has swung an average of about 3.9 percent daily since May 23, when it had the biggest one-day plunge since the disaster.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.5 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 1.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.8 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex Index retreated 0.7 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 1.3 percent. South Korea’s market is closed for a public holiday.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.3 percent today after the gauge dropped 1.4 percent in New York yesterday, when a report from ADP Research Institute showed companies in the U.S. hired fewer workers than projected in May amid federal budget cuts and higher taxes. Separate data from the Commerce Department showed factory orders in April fell short of estimates.
The Fed’s Beige Book showed the U.S. economy expanded at a “modest to moderate” pace in 11 of 12 central-bank districts, with broad-based gains ranging from business services to construction and manufacturing. The survey is based on data collected by Fed regional banks on or before May 24.
To contact the reporter on this story: Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at