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Asia Stocks Set to Snap Longest Winning Streak Since Jan.
Published in Amwal Al Ghad on 09 - 08 - 2013

Asia's benchmark stock index is on course to snap its longest weekly winning streak since January after Nikon Corp. (7731) cut its profit forecast and as investors await Chinese industrial production data.
Nikon, a Japanese camera maker, slumped 15 percent, dragging consumer shares lower. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world's largest mining company, climbed 1.9 percent in Sydney, leading raw-materials firms to the largest advance among the 10 industry groups of the Asia-Pacific benchmark gauge. DeNA Co., a mobile-game site operator, surged 9.2 percent after posting a 9.6 percent increase in first-quarter sales.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.2 percent to 133.56 as of 12:48 p.m. in Tokyo, with four stocks falling for every three that rose. The gauge is headed for a 1.5 percent decline this week, ending six weeks of gains. That was the longest run of weekly gains since the first week of this year.
"Earnings expectations are high," Evan Lucas, a Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Markets Ltd., a provider of trading services for equities, currencies and commodities, said by telephone. "Things had started to get to a top. We need to see if the Chinese government is in control and pulling the right levers for the economy."
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 7.3 percent through yesterday from a five-year high on May 20 amid concern a slowdown in Chinese growth will worsen and as the Federal Reserve weighed a reduction in U.S. stimulus. The gauge gained 3.4 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 19 percent surge on the S&P 500.
Regional Gauges
The Asia-Pacific measure traded at 13 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 15.4 for the S&P 500 Index and 13.9 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Japan's Topix rose 0.3 percent, on track for the worst weekly performance among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. Even after falling the past three months, the gauge is still up 33 percent this year though yesterday, retaining Japan's position as the world's best-performing developed equity market. The measure has risen amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will push through reforms while the Bank of Japan provides record stimulus.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.3 percent and China's Shanghai Composite slid 0.6 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi index was little changed. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index retreated 0.5 percent. Markets in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are closed for holidays.
Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) were little changed. The equity measure climbed 0.4 percent yesterday, halting a three-day drop, as Chinese trade data topped estimates and jobless claims fell.
China Inflation
China's annual inflation rate remained at 2.7 percent in July from June. Growth in industrial output may remain unchanged at 8.9 percent from a month earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The Chinese government has signaled that it will defend its 7.5 percent economic-growth target for the year after expansion slowed for a second quarter. China last month announced measures to support the economy, including ordering companies in 19 industries to curb overcapacity as well as tax cuts for small firms and aid to exporters. Data yesterday showed exports rose 5.1 percent in July, while imports advanced 10.9 percent.
Claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the four weeks ended Aug. 3 declined to 335,500 on average, the least since November 2007, a report showed yesterday. They rose to 333,000 last week, in line with the median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, from 328,000 the prior week.
Nikon slumped 15 percent to 1,707 yen after cutting its full-year net income estimate by almost a quarter as demand for compact cameras weakens. Global shipments of compact digital cameras slid 48 percent in May compared with a year earlier, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association in Tokyo.
Yamada Denki Co. tumbled 16 percent to 3,280 yen after the electronics retailer reported a loss last quarter.
DeNA surged 9.2 percent to 2,030. The gaming operator reported a 9.6 percent increase in quarterly sales.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Materials Index climbed 0.6 percent, heading for a seventh week of gains. BHP Billiton advanced 1.9 percent to A$35.97 and Rio Tinto Group (RIO), the world's second-largest mining company, added 1.7 percent to A$60.50. Jiangxi Copper Co., China's biggest producer of the metal, rose 3 percent to HK$13.90 in Hong Kong.
Source: Bloomberg

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