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ASIA-PACIFIC MID-SESSION UPDATE - 29/07/13: Asian equities declined, led lower by the Nikkei 225 as JPY strength weighs on Japanese exporters

Asian equity markets began the trading week lower as reports from China weighed on sentiment across the region. The Nikkei 225 dipped below the 14,000 level to record a fresh low for the month, as a stronger JPY weighed on Japanese exporters. In individual stock news, Fanuc is the best performer despite the Co. missing on their earnings expectations, as Co. orders pointed to a pick up in activity. The ASX 200 trades relatively flat, with Transpacific Industries Group as the biggest gainer in the index after the Co. announced the sale of its commercial vehicles group to Penske Automotive Group. Also positive for local equities, were notable comments from RBA member Edwards that warned the government against deep spending cuts and large tax rises. Chinese markets also underperform with both the Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. in the red, as sentiment was weighed by reports that China will conduct a nationwide audit over government debt, adding pressure to the financial sector in both bourses. Conversely, Chinese solar stocks have gained after reports over the weekend that China and EU settled their dispute over the export of underpriced Chinese solar panels, with the price undertaking seen as favourable to Beijing.

In the FX market, JPY strengthened ahead of BoJ Governor Kuroda’s scheduled speech where market participants await any Nikkei or USD/JPY supportive rhetoric. The JPY strength has resulted to declines seen in USD/JPY and JPY crosses with USD/JPY trading in the mid-97.00 range, whilst EUR/JPY broke the 130.00 handle to the downside. Elsewhere, AUD/USD saw early volatile trade, as it reversed earlier gains to trade flat approaching the mid-point of today’s session.
Looking forward, BoJ Governor Kuroda is scheduled to speak at the Research Institute of Japan at 0430BST/2230CDT.

As of 0357BST:
ASX 200 (-0.02%), Nikkei 225 (-2.26%), Hang Seng (-0.47%), KOSPI (-0.37%), Shanghai Comp. (-1.19%)

Print 03:08, 29 Jul 2013 - Asian News - Source: RANsquawk