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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
May 22, 2006

Asian equities markets decline


by Elaine Frei

Equities markets in Asia saw substantial declines on Monday as investors interested in avoiding risks exited emerging markets. Declines were widespread throughout the region.

In Mumbai, the market fell 10 percent during the day, causing trade to be suspended for an hour. Once trade resumed, the market recovered some but still closed 4.2 percent lower at 10,481.77. In other major Asian markets, Indonesia’s Composite Index lost 6 percent to 1,309.05 and the Straits Times in Singapore and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong each dropped 3.1 percent to 2,416.69 and 15,805.52 respectively.

The Kospi index in Seoul declined by 2.5 percent to 1,338.59. The biggest exception to the declines there was retailer Shinsegae, which added 6.6 percent on the day to won460,000 after it said it would buy Wal-Mart’s South Korean stores.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the S&P/ASX in Sydney dropped 1.4 percent to 5,030.8. Miners were a factor there, with BHP Billiton dropping 3 percent to A$27.89 and Rio Tinto falling 3.9 percent to A$75.22. Oil stocks were also lower in Sydney, with ARC Energy down 6.4 percent to A$1.54 and Hardman Resources declined by 6.7 percent to A$1.76.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed at its lowest level in two months, dropping 1.8 percent to 15,857.87. The Topix index lost 1.4 percent to 1,615.86. Miners were down there, as well, with Nippon Mining losing 8 percent to ¥948 and Sumitomo Metal Mining down by 3.9 percent to ¥1,471.

Among Japanese semiconductor companies, Elpida Memory lost 5.2 percent to ¥4,890 on a restatement of last year’s earnings that showed an even wider net loss than had been previously reported. In the electronics sector, Sony added 0.8 percent to ¥5,120 on the announcement that mobile carrier KDDI has plans to launch a line of Walkman-type mobiles manufactured by Sony Ericsson. The news sent shares in KDDI up 1.4 percent to ¥737,000.

Seafood processing groups saw the biggest gains for the day in Tokyo, with Nippon Suisan adding 10.2 percent to ¥584 and Maruha gaining 3.3 percent to ¥282. The sector has been benefiting from foreign demand for their products.

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