The majority of Asian indices are taking losses weighed by declining commodity prices and profit taking after reaching multi year highs yesterday. Slightly hawkish FOMC minutes, that suggests the Fed may taper or end its asset purchases early also added to the negative tone.
The ASX 200 is in firm negative territory with the Utilities, Basic Materials and Oil & Gas sectors weighing the index down on the back of the large commodity sell-off during the EU and US sessions. In the FX market, AUD weakened weighed by Australia’s heavy reliance on Mining and the Basic Materials sectors.
The Nikkei 225 closed morning trade with losses, also pressured by the Basic Materials sector. In individual stock news, Apple supplier Taiyo Yuden is the worst performing stock after news that Foxconn froze hiring across China, and reports Hon Hai halted plans to expand production capacity at its major iPhone assembly plant amid slowing demand. On the upside, GS Yuasa is the best performer so far after reports that Boeing is ready to propose a battery crate as a fix for the 787 Dreamliner battery problems.
The Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. are both trading with losses of over 1.5% and conforming to the general risk off tone seen in Asia today. After-market comments yesterday from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao which called for local authorities to curb real estate speculation combined with the PBOC conducting a record high net drain this week, have added extra pressure to the Shanghai Comp. which is today’s biggest laggard among the major Asian Indices.
Looking forward, Japan is to sell 20-year bonds scheduled at 0345GMT/2145CST.
As of 0248GMT:
ASX200 (-1.48%), Nikkei 225 (-0.80%), Shanghai Comp. (-1.82%), Hang Seng (-1.53%), KOSPI (-0.43 %)
20 Feb 2013 - 21:49 - Equities - Source: RANsquawk
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