News Column

Asia unchanged from six-year highs

July 7, 2014



Asian stocks were little changed, as the region's benchmark index traded just below its highest level in six years, as Aeon Co., shipbuilding and health-care companies retreated.

Japan'sNikkei 225 index slipped 57.69 points, or 0.4%, to 15,379.44

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 5.44 points to 23,540.92

Aeon sank 5.1% in Tokyo, the largest loss on the regional index, after the supermarket operator's first-quarter profit plunged. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. slid 4.5% in Seoul as a brokerage cut its estimate on the shares, citing slowing new orders.

TPK Holding Co., a maker of computer screens, fell 4.5% in Taipei. Astellas Pharma Inc. paced losses as health-care shares declined.

Daewoo Shipbuilding lost 4.5% in Seoul. Woori Investment analyst Yu Jae Hun cut a forecast on the shares, citing slowing new orders for offshore vessels, according to report dated today.

Wotif.com Holdings Ltd surged 25% in Sydney after Expedia Inc., an online travel-booking service, agreed to buy the Australian travel agency for A$703 million ($658 million U.S.), seeking to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

While Chinese manufacturing data this month showed growth is stabilizing in the world's second-largest economy, the International Monetary Fund says the global economy may grow at a slower pace than previously forecast.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde's remarks underline the threats to global economic growth at a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve is trimming stimulus and the European Central Bank faces inflation that is less than half its targeted level.

The IMF is preparing to update its economic forecasts this month after predicting April 8 that the global economy will expand 3.6% this year and 3.9% in 2015.

In other markets;

The Shanghai CSI 300 2.41 points, or 0.1%, to 2,176.29

In Korea, the Kospi index dipped 4.54 points, or 0.2%, to 2,005.12

Singapore's Straits Times Index recovered 19.32 points, or 0.6%, to 3,291.57

In Taiwan, the Taiex index gained 10.15 points, or 0.1%, to 9,520.20

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 slid 2.55 points, or 0.1%, to 5,186.36

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 skidded 6.07 points, or 0.1%, to 5,518.91


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Source: Baystreet Foreign Markets Wrap (Canada)


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