Monday, September 28, 2009
Tree is enjoying Adrina's Photoshoot
Asian stocks fall on weak US data, strong yen :-
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Asian stock markets sank Monday as the yen surged to a nine-month high and disappointing data from the United States undermined hopes of a fast economic recovery.
Reports on manufacturing and home sales released Friday stoked concerns over recovery prospects in the world's largest economy and pushed U.S. stocks lower for a third day.
The U.S. economy is "not recovering as fast as we thought," said Jackson Wong, vice president at Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong. The strengthening Japanese yen, he added, "brings negative sentiment to other markets."
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average was Asia's worst performer, falling 267.65, or 2.6 percent, to 9,998.33. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 348.58, or 1.7 percent, to 20,675.82.
South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9 percent while Singapore's benchmark declined 1.2 percent. China's Shanghai index surrendered early gains to fall 0.4 percent.
In New York on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.25, or 0.4 percent, to 9,665.19, its third straight decline. Broader indices also fell. Major European markets were mixed.
The dollar fell against the yen, trading at 89.47 Monday compared with 89.60 late Friday in New York. At one point, the greenback declined to the 88.22 for the first time since December. The euro fell to $1.4587 from $1.4698.
"The too strong yen, it's not good for their economy," said Conita Hung, head of equity markets with Delta Asia Financial Group in Hong Kong.
A stronger yen can hurt Japanese exporters by reducing the value of overseas profits when sent back home and can make their products less price competitive. Many Japanese exporters have based their earnings forecasts on the assumption that $1 buys an average of 95 yen.
Japan's new government, which took power this month, has expressed little concern about a stronger yen and even says it's potentially a good thing as it can boost consumer spending by making foreign goods and raw materials cheaper.
Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii on Monday said exchange rate stability was desirable but reiterated his opposition to intervening in foreign exchange markets to weaken the yen's value, according to Kyodo news agency.
Oil prices, meanwhile, traded lower. Benchmark crude for November delivery fell 49 cents to $65.555 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract added 13 cents to settle at $66.02.