asia

Asia Stocks Drop, With Japan Exporters Weak

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Preston Waters

Asia stocks started Friday trading on a lower note, with Japanese exporters suffering from currency headwinds.

In early moves, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:NIK -0.87%   lost 0.5%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO -0.59%  fell 0.2%, and South Korea’s Kospi KR:0100 -1.29%  dropped 0.6%.

Rises in borrowing costs for the French and Italian governments overnight helped send the euro lower, with its cross rate against the Japanese yen falling below the ¥99 level overnight.

This weighed on many Japanese exporters with large exposure to Europe. Sony Corp.JP:6758 -1.89%   SNE -0.15%  lost 1.5%, NEC Corp. JP:6701 -1.85%   NIPNF +5.21%  fell 1.9%, Nissan Motor Co. JP:7201 -2.03%   NSANY -1.38%  retreated 1.6%, and Mazda Motor Corp.JP:7261 -1.46%   MZDAF +2.41%  gave up 0.7%

The losses came despite a somewhat brighter finish for Wall Street on Thursday, where the Dow industrials finished almost flat, but the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both made gains

Attention among both U.S. and Asian investors was on the key U.S. employment report, due out later Friday.

Energy stocks also moved lower in Tokyo on Friday, after benchmark New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil lost ground overnight after data should supplies at higher-than-expected levels.

Inpex Corp. JP:1605 -1.21%  moved 1.2% lower, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co.JP:1662 -1.63%   JPTXF +2.00%  dropped 2%, and JX Holdings Inc. JP:5020 -1.90%  JXHGF -10.40%  was off 1.7%.

In Sydney, the energy sector was more mixed, with Santos Ltd. AU:STO -0.98%  STOSF -1.95%  down 0.5% and WorleyParsons Ltd. AU:WOR -1.59%   WYGPF 0.00%  lower by 0.9%, but with Woodside Petroleum Ltd. AU:WPL +0.80%   WOPEF +3.48%   up 1.2%, and Origin Energy Ltd. AU:ORG +0.38%   OGFGF -3.90%  adding 1%.

Australia’s weak spot was in the financial space, with the National Australia Bank Ltd.AU:NAB -1.22%   NAUBF +1.02% falling 0.8%, and Macquarie Group Ltd. AU:MQG -1.14%  MCQEF +0.79%   losing 1%, amid the European concerns.

Among other movers, Olympus Corp. JP:7733 -0.97%   OCPNF +4.00%  lost 1.2% after former chief executive officer Michael Woodford decided not to start a proxy battle against the firm’s management, due to a lack of support from institutions holding the shares.

Samsung Electronics Co. SSNGY 0.00%   failed to get a bump from a fourth-quarter outlook tipping a 73% rise in operating profit. The shares lost 0.8%, with Dow Jones Newswires reporting net selling by foreign investors on the Seoul bourse.

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Preston Waters

Preston Waters

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