World Economy

Asian Stocks Retreat

Asian Stocks RetreatAsian Stocks Retreat

Chinese stocks led the sell-off in Asia on Monday, following declines offshore and as the fall in commodity prices, questionable growth in the mainland sapped risk appetite.

Meanwhile, caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting also kept investors on the sideline, CNBC reported.

Spot gold fell for a third session in Asian trade on Monday, trading not far above its lowest level since early 2010, with expectations of further losses in the metal as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates. The yellow metal eased 0.3% at $1,095.50 an ounce.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index nearly quadrupled declines in the afternoon session to end sharply lower at a three-week low, as official data showed the country’s industrial profits declined 0.3% year-on-year in June, compared with a 0.6% rise in May and 2.6% gain in April.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index tracked losses in the mainland to slump 3.2%, touching a two-and-a-half-week low.

GOME Electrical Appliances Holding fell more than 10% after the Chinese home appliance retailer agreed to buy retail assets from its controlling shareholder in deal to be settled partly by issue of new shares.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended at a two-week low. Major exporters traded in the red as the yen strengthened to its highest level since July 15 against the greenback. Toyota Motor fell more than 1%, while Nissan and Suzuki Motor eased 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively.

Bucking the selloff, Mitsubishi Motors elevated 5.5% after saying on Friday it will end production at its lone light-vehicle assembly plant in the US.

Canon closed down 0.8% before announcing a 16% fall in quarterly profit and a cut in its full-year earnings outlook. Financial services firm Monex Group, which was also due to release quarterly earnings late Monday, pulled back 1.5%.

 Some Reprieve

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index turned positive in the afternoon session, after touching its lowest level since July 14 earlier in the day, as the resources sector enjoyed some reprieve on the back of bargain hunting.

Gold miners such as Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining bounced up over 4% each, while market bellwether BHP Billiton rebounded 1%. However, Atlas Iron tumbled 70% to end at A$0.036 ($.03) upon resuming trade on Monday.

Financials managed to recover late in the session; Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group pared losses to close up between 0.2% and 0.4%.

South Korea’s Kospi index ended Monday at a two-week low, while the won erased early losses to inch up 0.3% to 1,165.7 against the greenback.

Brokerage houses and pharmaceuticals were among the biggest losers; Hyundai Securities and Samsung Securities plunged 2.4% and 3.4%, respectively, while Hanmi Pharmaceutical and Hyundai Pharmaceutical tanked 7.1% and 4.4%, respectively.

Singapore shares crashed to a two-and-a-half-week low, as downbeat sentiment in the region eclipsed a handful of corporate earnings.

Shares of DBS Group widened losses to 1.2% as markets focused on the uncertainties over the lender’s second-half outlook, instead of the better-than-expected results, said Stuart Leckie, chairman of Stirling Finance. The city-state’s biggest lender saw its second-quarter net profit rise 15% on-year to 1.117 billion Singapore dollars ($814 million), topping a Reuters’ estimate of S$1.06 billion.