Asian markets drifted lower on Friday, led by losses in technology stocks amid falling demand for smartphones and a downward revision in revenue target by the world’s largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
In the Australian market, shares from telecom and utility sectors trended lower today. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 ended down 12.20 points or 0.21 percent at 5,868.80. The broader All Ordinaries index declined 12 points or 0.2 percent to 5,964.40.
G8 Education, the biggest loser in the benchmark index, declined as much as 7.2 percent. Evolution Mining, Independence Group, Eclipx Group, NB Holdings, JB Hi-Fi and TPG Telecom ended lower by 2 to 5 percent.
Among big four banks, ANZ Bank and Westpac ended flat, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Bank of Queensland ended lower by 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Retail Food Group, Seven West Media, Galaxy Resources, Iress, Pilbara Minerals, Beach Energy, Challenger, Aristocrat Leisure, Qantas Airways, Ardent Leisure and Woodside Petroleum gained 1 to 4 percent.
The Japanese market ended slightly lower with its benchmark Nikkei 225 edging down by about 0.1 percent to 22,170.50.
Advantest Corp., Tokyo Electron and TDK declined 1.4 to 2.2 percent.
Mitsubishi Electric, Fanuc, Showa Denko KK,, Sumitomo Chemical, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Sumco Corp., Japan Tobacco and Chiyoda Corp. shed 2 to 5 percent.
Meanwhile, Mitsui OSK Lines, Shiseido, Pacific Metals, Oji Holdings, Nisshin Steel, T&D Holdings, Nichirei Corp., Nikon Corp. and Dentsu gained 2 to 4.3 percent.
In economic news, overall consumer prices in Japan were up 1.1 percent on year in March, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed. That was in line with expectations and down from 1.5 percent in February.
Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, gained an annual 0.9 percent – again matching forecasts and down from 1.0 percent in the previous month. On a monthly basis, overall inflation fell 0.4 percent and core CPI was down 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, Japan’s tertiary industry activity showed no variations in February, in line with expectations, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed. On a monthly basis, the tertiary industry activity index remained flat in February after a 0.4 percent decrease in January.
Shanghai ended notably lower with its benchmark Shanghai Composite drifting down 1.47 percent, due largely to heavy selling in telecom and software stocks.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 1.23 percent
Shares of China Huarong Asset Management Co., the country’s biggest bad debt manager, plunged about 11 percent after the company’s chairman Lai Xiaomin stepped down following an investigation into alleged corruption.
AAC Technologies and Sunny Optical Technologies tumbled 8.1 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Lenovo Group, China Petroleum and Hengen International Group lost 2.5 to 4 percent.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, The Taiwanese market slipped 1.7 percent. Markets in Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea too ended lower, with their key indices declining 0.4 to 1 percent. The Indian market is down as well, with the Sensex down marginally at present.
by RTTNews Staff Writer
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