Asia:Shares sink after losses on Wall St

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mostly lower yesterday following losses on Wall Street fuelled by anaemic United States consumer spending.

Investors were taking a breather ahead of the release next week of key economic data, including on global manufacturing activity, US jobs and Japanese business confidence.

Tokyo tumbled 1.39 per cent, or 213.49 points, to 15,095.00 as the strong yen hit exporters, Sydney fell 0.35 per cent, or 19.2 points, to close at 5,445.1 and Seoul slipped 0.33 per cent, or 6.54 points, to 1,988.51.

Shanghai closed 0.11 per cent lower, giving up 2.17 points to 2,036.51.

In New York, the three main indexes closed lower on Thursday after the government released figures showing consumer spending — which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity — rose a mere 0.2 per cent in May after a flat April.

The figures came a day after news that the economy shrank a lot more than first thought in January-March, leading to worries that a recovery is still fragile.

In other markets:

q Bangkok added 0.39 per cent, or 5.76 points, to close at 1,483.24. Bank of Ayudhya gained 7.43 per cent to 47.00 baht, while coal producer Banpu rose 1.72 per cent to 29.50 baht.

q Jakarta slipped 0.56 per cent, or 27.29 points, to 4,845.13. Palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari fell 2.05 per cent to 28,700 rupiah, while carmaker Astra International gained 1.73 per cent to 7,350 rupiah.

q Manila lost 0.73 per cent or 50.03 points, to 6,842.15. Ayala Land slipped 1.75 per cent to 30.85 pesos, SM Prime dropped 2.9 per cent to 15.92 pesos and SM Investments fell 2.46 per cent to 811.50 pesos.

q Mumbai rose 0.15 per cent, or 37.25 points, to 25,099.92. Infosys gained 1.02 per cent to 3,221.95 rupees while rival Wipro closed up 1.9 per cent to 545.85 rupees.

q Taipei fell 0.15 per cent, or 14.11 points, to 9,306.83. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose 0.8 per cent to T$125.5 while Acer slipped 1.85 per cent to T$21.2.

q Wellington added 0.27 per cent, or 14.09 points, to 5,144.25 but trading was curtailed by a technical glitch. Telecom advanced 0.93 per cent to NZ$2.72 and Freightways was unchanged at NZ$5.11. AFP