Asian Shares Mixed, But Most Fell

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Asian stocks fell for the most part, with the regional benchmark declining from a four-month high, as Japan shares were hit by a stronger yen and after US equity markets retreated from records.

Sony Corp lost 6.1% in Tokyo as the maker of electronics projected a surprise yearly loss. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd declined 3.2%, leading losses among mainland property firms that soared yesterday on hope that the government will act in favor of the property market.

Tencent Holdings Ltd, the largest internet firm in Asia, added 5.8% after it reported quarterly profit that exceeded analyst estimates. Tencent’s profit for the first quarter added 60%, Marketwatch reported.

In Hong Kong, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was largely flat at 140.37 as of 4:17 pm, after hitting a high last seen in January 13 at the close of trading yesterday. Topix index of Japan was down 0.4% as the yen exchanged at 101.92 per dollar after surging 0.4% on Wednesday.

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“U.S. sentiment and the yen continue to dictate markets here. It was about the time for U.S. stocks to take a breather after extending record highs,” market analyst Toshiyuki Kanayama of Tokyo’s Monex Inc told Bloomberg.

The Japanese economy grew at an annualized rate of 5.9% from the previous three months within the first quarter, soaring beyond analysts’ outlook for a 4.2% growth, a report indicated on Thursday.

Kospi index of South Korea was little changed. S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3% while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was sank 0.4%. Taiex index of Taiwan surged 0.1% as Singapore’s Straits Times was up 0.3%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ascended 0.7%, going up for a sixth day, the longest rally since January. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of stocks in mainland that are traded in Hong Kong tumbled 0.2%.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid 1.1%.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com