Asia markets decline on China economic data

| April 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
Asia markets decline on China economic data

Most equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Friday after China said that its economy grew by 9.7 percent in the first quarter and that consumer prices were up 5.4 percent in March from last year at the same time, news which renewed concerns that China will raise interest rates again or make others moves to cool inflation there.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.65 percent to 9,591.52 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.64 percent to 841.29 but the Mothers market managed to add 0.62 percent to 436.38.

Companies in Japan that do business with China were lower on the new economic data, while Toyota Motor (TYO; 7203) declined on a report that it will delay issuing an earnings forecast while it assesses the full impact of the recent earthquake and tsunami on its operations.

The Hang Seng was 0.02 percent lower to 24,008.1 in Hong Kong, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.03 percent to 2,140.5, the Straits Times Index dropped 0.18 percent to 3,153.3 in Singapore, Australia’s markets were down with the S&P/ASX200 falling 0.66 percent to 4,852.1 while the Sydney Ordinaries were 0.67 percent lower to 4,939.3, the Taiex was down 0.96 percent to 8,718.12 in Taiwan and India’s Sensex dropped 1.57 percent to 19,386.8 after the commerce ministry said that wholesale inflation added 8.98 percent there in March, but the Shanghai Composite managed to add 0. 26 percent to 3,050.53 on the session.

European markets were mixed as US consumer confidence was reported up from last month but the new economic data from China worked to limit gains, as did a move by Moody’s Investors Service to cut its rating on Ireland’s bonds by two notches, to Baa3, with a negative outlook.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.54 percent to 5,996.01 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.66 percent to 11,679.2 as retailers saw gains but banks, miners and the energy sector were all mixed, while the gambling component of the travel and leisure sector was mixed after Ladbrokes (LSE: LAD) gained after it broke off takeover talks with small-cap online gambler 888 Holdings, sending 888 down significantly.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.22 percent to 1,131.36 while the CAC-40 added 0.1 percent to 3,974.48 and the Dax gained 0.44 percent to 7,178.29, but the IBEX dropped 0.6 percent to 10,558.6.

Higher US consumer confidence helped Wall Street higher, as did new data showing that US inflation was up just 0.1 percent last month and factory output in the US is up.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.58 percent higher to 12,355.8 while the S&P 500 had added 0.49 percent to 1,320.93 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.18 percent to 2,765.07.

Crude oil prices were higher on the gains in consumer confidence, while metals prices were mixed, with copper down again but gold was at a new all-time high in midday trade as it added $12.80 to $1,485.20 per troy ounce.

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