Asian markets mostly plunge

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian markets mostly plunge

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:17 pm

HONG KONG: Asian stock markets were mostly lower on Friday after weaker than expected US jobs data weighed on sentiment and investors took profits after the previous day's gains.
However a strong performance by US chip giant Intel supported tech firms while the euro eased back from Thursday's New York highs after impressive bond sales in Spain and Portugal.

Tokyo was 0.29 percent lower by the break as dealer locked in profits after surging to an eight-month high in the previous session. Sydney edged 0.15 percent down, Shanghai fell 1.11 percent and Singapore shed 0.75 percent. Seoul was flat but Hong Kong gained 0.33 percent.

Traders took their cue from the United States, where the Dow slipped 0.20 percent after the Labor Department said new US claims for unemployment benefits rose 35,000 last week over the previous week.

New claims touched 445,000 in the week ending January 8. Economists had expected claims to hit just 415,000.

In Japan, Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires: "Profit-taking kicked in amid signs of overheating in the Japanese market" after the Nikkei hit a fresh eight-month high Thursday. However, technology shares were upbeat after Intel posted its best earnings ever in 2010, with a net profit of $11.7 billion, a 167 percent jump year on year.

The region clocked up strong gains on Thursday after a successful bond issue by Portugal, despite concerns the debt-laden country would need an International Monetary Fund bailout.

Spain and Italy also undertook strong bond sales later in the day, easing tensions over a European sovereign debt. The healthy auctions sent the euro soaring on Thursday in New York, with the single currency hitting $1.3358, from $1.3128 a day earlier. The unit was slightly lower Friday in Asia, trading at $1.3343 in the morning.

It also eased to 110.42 yen from 110.62 yen. It had been sitting at 108.82 before the bond sales. The dollar was slightly lower at 82.77 yen against 82.79 yen in late New York trading.

Oil sat around the key $100 mark as the weaker greenback made the black gold more attractive. Brent North Sea crude for February delivery was up 24 cents to $98.30. It had hit 98.67 at one point in New York Thursday before easing back. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February, dipped 34 cents to $91.06 per barrel.

Gold opened at $1,375.80-$1,376.80 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from Thursday's close of $1,385.00-$1,386.00.
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