In contrast to yesterday’s trade, Asian stocks fell today. According to investors the decline in the Asian stocks can be attributed to delayed U.S. employment data that was supposed to come today – the Fed will decide on its stimulus depending on the growth in employment. The Fed had earlier made it clear that it will not temper with stimulus if employment growth is unsatisfactorily.
Japanese stocks have been faring better recently and so have been a trend with Australian stocks which posted modest gains. On the other hand, stock markets in Southeast Asia were mixed; Indian stocks were higher yesterday though.
Whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average was up 0.2 percent at 14,723.44, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,378. The major losers were Seoul’s Kospi which lost 0.1 percent to 2,051.65, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng that lost 0.5 percent to 23,324.50, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index which went down by 0.7 percent at 2,214.51.
The major loser was China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest phone company. After posting its biggest profit decline since 1999, its stocks dropped 3.6 percent in Hong Kong. Similarly, Shinhan Financial Group Co. fell 2.9 percent in Seoul. Its fall was expected as its partner BNP Paribas plans to sell part of its stake in South Korea’s biggest bank.
BHP Billiton Ltd. Fares Better
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s No. 1 mining company, gained 2.4 percent in Sydney. The growth is attributed to its better than expected outlook for iron-ore production this fiscal year. The company reported record output from its expanding mining hub in Australia’s resource-rich Pilbara region.
The company is expecting to produce 212 million metric tons of the steelmaking ingredients at its Australian mines in the year through June. It has been trying hard to lift production capacity in the Pilbara region of Western Australia so that it can match huge demands from China which is fast becoming a hub for automobile manufacturing.
BHP Billiton Ltd also decided to exit 9 out of its 10 oil and gas explorations projects in India.
The decision came after the company faced issues regarding defence approval. In a statement the company said that it is relinquishing nine exploration blocks awarded between 2008 and 2010 under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP).
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