Asia: Markets decline after Wall St sell-off

HONG KONG: Asian markets sank yesterday, following a negative lead from Wall Street and talk of a possible correction for global equities after their rally over the past few weeks.

China released data showing inflation eased slightly in June after hitting a four-month high in May.

Sydney slumped 1.06 per cent, or 58.4 points, to 5,452.5 and Seoul fell 0.31 per cent, or 6.16 points, to 2,000.50. Tokyo clawed back most of the day’s losses to end flat, dipping 11.76 points to 15,276.25.

Shanghai lost 1.23 per cent, or 25.41 points, to finish at 2,038.61.

Jakarta was closed for the presidential election.

US shares retreated on Tuesday for a second straight session after returning from the long Independence Day weekend. The S&P 500 and Dow had closed Thursday at record highs after a better-than-expected report on US jobs creation.

The Dow slipped 0.69 per cent, the S&P 500 fell 0.70 per cent and the Nasdaq tumbled 1.35 per cent.

Some observers have predicted a pullback after the latest surge across global markets. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said this week he was “very uncomfortable” with current prices.

In China the National Bureau of Statistics said annual inflation came in at 2.3 per cent last month, down from 2.5 per cent in May.

The figure is slightly below the 2.4 per cent forecast by economists for Dow Jones Newswires and well short of the 3.5 per cent annual target set by Beijing.

In other markets:

q Bangkok was flat, inching up 0.34 points to 1,507.92. Import and export firm Berli Jucker gained 4.95 per cent to 47.75 baht, while hospitality company Minor International added 2.44 per cent to 31.50.

q Manila closed 0.64 per cent lower, giving up 44.73 points to 6,903.79.

q Mumbai fell 0.54 per cent, or 137.30 points, to end at 25,444.81. Bharat Electronics lost 8.39 per cent to 1,960.55 rupees, while Apollo Tyres fell 7.72 per cent to 182.95 rupees.

q Taipei slipped 0.43 per cent, or 41.0 points, to 9,489.98. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell 0.37 per cent to T$134.0 while Hon Hai rose 0.48 per cent to T$105.0.

q Wellington fell 0.84 per cent, or 43.33 points, to 5,122.74. Trade Me dipped 2.49 per cent to NZ$3.53 and Chorus was off 0.58 per cent at NZ$1.72. AFP