The last two weeks have been worrisome for investors in Asian stocks market as Asia’s benchmark stock index headed for a second weekly decline. Nonetheless, after swinging between gains and losses today as data showed China’s trade surplus narrowed, expectations were ripe that it will go up; however, it did not happen and most of the indexes traded lower.
Major Indexes and Their Performances
Though on a dismal trading day, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 139.07 as of 5:30 p.m. in Tokyo, it is unable to cover up the losses it went through this week. Other major indexes in the region too fell to some extent. Whereas China’s Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.4 percent.
A similar pattern was seen in Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index wherein it lost 0.2 percent.
The major reason behind the fall in the Aussie index was that Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. Which are the country’s biggest shippers of iron-ore to China received a fall in their business. The two companies are falling behind at 1.4 percent.
Chinese Imports Rises and Manufacturing Sector Slows Down
Although China’s overseas shipments rose 4.3 percent from a year earlier, it could not boost the investors’ confidence. The slowing manufacturing sector is still a major factor that is stopping investors to buy Chinese stocks. Whereas the manufacturing sector is weak in China, the country’s imports have increased 8.3 percent.
The major loser in today’s trade was Luk Fook Holdings (International) Ltd, a jewelry retailer. This company’s stocks fell by 11 percent in Hong Kong as its rating was cut by Credit Suisse Group AG which showed concern about the slowing sales momentum. A similar pattern was seen in Mitsubishi Materials Corp. The company lost due to its decision to halt a plant’s operation after an explosion.
U.S. Data on Employment to Come Today
Investors are awaiting the labor report coming from the U.S. Labor Department. It is expected to be released today and expected to show American employers added more jobs in 2013 than at any point in the past eight years. This data is going to be utilized by the Federal Reserve to decide on the stimulus tapering and in that regard it looks a quantum of it will be taken out.
To contact the reporter of this story: Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org