Asian shares lower ahead of earn­ings, Fed meet­ing

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Asian stock mar­kets were lower Tues­day, tak­ing a cue from losses on Wall Street ahead of earn­ings from ma­jor Asian com­pa­nies and the Fed­eral Re­serve’s pol­icy meet­ing.

In­vestors are look­ing ahead to Wed­nes­day when the Fed­eral Re­serve ends a two-day meet­ing at which pol­i­cy­mak­ers will dis­cuss when to raise a key in­ter­est rate that has been held near zero for 6 years. Af­ter its March meet­ing, the Fed opened the door to a rate in­crease this year by no longer say­ing it would be “pa­tient” in start­ing to raise its bench­mark rate. But weak eco­nomic data re­cently might com­pli­cate that pic­ture.

“The Fed will have to ac­knowl­edge the weaker data of late when it meets to­mor­row,” DBS Bank said in a daily re­port. “It will be hard to blame ei­ther on dock strikes or the weather, given that pay­rolls dipped in March and capex has been fall­ing since Au­gust.”

The Con­fer­ence Board re­leases its April in­dex on U.S. con­sumer con­fi­dence on Tues­day. In March, an im­prov­ing job mar­ket drove U.S. con­sumer con­fi­dence higher af­ter a dip in Fe­bru­ary, a promis­ing sign for the econ­omy as it heads into spring. The U.S. gov­ern­ment also re­leases its es­ti­mate of eco­nomic growth in the Jan­uary- March quar­ter. Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct is ex­pected to have risen 1 per­cent, down from 2.2 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

U. S. stocks closed lower on Mon­day af­ter trad­ing higher in the morn­ing ses­sion. The Dow Jones industrial av­er­age fell 42.17 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to close at 18,037.97. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 fell 8.77 points, or 0.4 per­cent, to 2,108.92. The Nas­daq fell 31.84 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 5,060.25.

Shang­hai re­treated 1.13 per­cent, or 51.18 points, to 4,476.21 while Hong Kong was flat, edg­ing up 9.16 points to 28,442.75. The two in­dexes have been surg­ing on hopes that China will un­veil more mon­e­tary eas­ing mea­sures to boost the slow­ing econ­omy.

“The ( Shang­hai) mar­ket will be­come more volatile as the in­dex gets higher,” Jimmy Zuo, a Shen­zhen-based trader at Gu­osen Se­cu­ri­ties, told Bloomberg News.

“There’s a strong be­lief that dis­ap­point­ing data and earn­ings will per­suade the gov­ern­ment to do more to safe­guard the econ­omy.”

Syd­ney fell 0.57 per­cent, or 34.2 points, to close at 5,948.5 and Seoul slipped 0.46 per­cent, or 9.87 points, to 2,147.67.

How­ever, Tokyo added 0.38 per­cent, or 75.63 points, to 20,058.95 as in­vestors struck an op­ti­mistic note ahead of a raft of earn­ings re­sults by ma­jor Ja­panese firms.

There was lit­tle re­ac­tion to a de­ci­sion by Fitch to cut its credit rat­ing on heav­ily in­debted Ja­pan by one notch, cit­ing con­cerns about its bud­get af­ter it de­layed a sales tax rise orig­i­nally slated for this year. Gold fetched US$1,201.39 against US$1,185.34 late Mon­day. In other mar­kets: — Welling­ton was marginally higher, adding 4.30 points to 5,769.65.

Mar­ket heavy­weight Fletcher Build­ing was up 0.98 per­cent at NZ$824 and Spark added 0.18 per­cent to NZ$2.86.

— Manila closed down 0.90 per­cent, or 71.50 points, at 7,886.57.

Jol­libee Foods fell 2.60 per­cent to 202.60 pe­sos while BDO Uni­bank dropped 3.03 per­cent to 112 pe­sos.

— Sin­ga­pore lost 0.59 per­cent, or 20.76 points, to 3,495.09.

Prop­erty de­vel­oper Cap­i­taland climbed 0.80 per­cent to SG$3.79 and oil rig maker Kep­pel Corp. de­clined 2.56 per­cent to SG$8.77.

— Bangkok fell 1.12 per­cent, or 17.30 points, to 1,531.53.

Kasikorn Bank dropped 2.78 per­cent to 210.00 baht and su­per­mar­ket op­er­a­tor Big C Su­per­center dipped 2.16 per­cent to 226.00 baht.

— Jakarta closed flat, edg­ing down 3.29 points to 5,242.16.

Car­maker As­tra In­ter­na­tional fell 1.01 per­cent to 7,375 ru­piah, while lender Bank CIMB Ni­aga rose 0.73 per­cent to 690 ru­piah.

— Kuala Lumpur slipped 0.24 per­cent, or 4.52 points, to 1,855.06. AMMB Hold­ings gained 0.62 per­cent to 6.46 ring­git while Bri­tish Amer­i­can Tobacco ended 0.90 per­cent lower at 65.94 ring­git. Telekom Malaysia fell 0.13 per­cent to 7.49 ring­git.

—- Mumbai rose 0.81 per­cent, or 219.39 points, to 27,396.38.

In­dia’s largest pri­vate bank ICICI Bank rose 8.02 per­cent to 326.65 ru­pees, while fast mov­ing con­sumer goods ma­jor ITC fell 1.92 per­cent to 337.50 ru­pees.

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