News Column

Mixed stocks to end week

May 16, 2014

Stocks in Asia took a negative lead from the U.S., where stocks on Wall Street slumped for the second consecutive session after data from Europe showed first-quarter economic output rose just half as much as expected.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dumped 201.62 points, or 1.4%, to 14,096.59

The negative sentiment was evident in a strong yen. The U.S. dollar lost 0.3% against the Japanese currency overnight and fell further in Asia. It was last at 101.44 compared with 101.58 late Thursday in New York.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong moved down 17.95 points, or 0.1%, to 22,712.91

Over the past two years, May has proved to be a period of weakness for Asian stocks. Last year, markets were hit by fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve was about to cut its bond-buying program, and in 2012 the euro-zone crisis rocked global markets.

Stocks have been more resilient this May, though the Nikkei is down 1.5% so far in the month. Hong Kong and South Korea are both up more than 2%

In other markets;

Shanghai's CSI 300 Composite eked up 1.87 points, or 0.1%, to 2,145.95

Taiwan's Taiex Index gained 7.80 points, or 0.1%, to 8,888.45

Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped 9.90 points, or 0.3%, to 3,262.59

Korea's Kospi index inched up 3.24 points, or 0.2%, to 2,013.44

New Zealand NZX 50 index fell 8.77 points, or 0.2%, to 5,186.19

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slumped 31.80 points, or 0.6%, to 5,479.04

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Source: Baystreet Foreign Markets Wrap (Canada)

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