Asia Stocks Lower; Japan Falls After Bank Of Japan

Japanese stocks fell on Tuesday after the yen strengthened following the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting, while a decline in Samsung Electronics weighed on the South Korean market.

The dollar continued its march against a number of Asian currencies, after Standard & Poor’s upgraded its ratings outlook on the U.S. to stable from negative on Monday, citing the country’s strong economic performance.

The greenback hit a new 2013 high against both Malaysia’s ringgit, last at 3.1460 ringgit, and the Philippine peso, which was recently trading at 43.02 pesos to the dollar.

The yen however pushed back against the dollar after the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting disappointed the market, leaving policy unchanged. In particular, the central bank did not extend its low-price fund-supplying operation.

The dollar fell sharply after the Bank of Japan announced its decision — last at ¥98.31 compared to ¥98.74 late Monday in New York.

Japanese stocks were flat at lunchtime, but shot lower as the afternoon session got underway, reacting negatively to the stronger yen. The Nikkei Average  fell 0.9%.

Softbank Corp.   fell 0.5% in Tokyo after the company agreed to raise its offer for Sprint Nextel Corp. to $21.6 billion from $20.1 billion previously.

Also in Tokyo, Olympus Corp.   lost 1.1% after the Tokyo Stock Exchange said it would remove the company’s “security on alert” designation, nearly one and a half years after the warning was issued due to problems with the company’s internal controls.

South Korea’s Kospi Composite  declined 0.8%, with the index weighed by its single largest constituent, Samsung Electronics Co.  , which lost 2.9% on concerns that its Galaxy S4 smartphone may not be selling as well as expected.

There was also heavy selling in Southeast Asia, with the Philippines and Indonesia hit particularly hard. These markets have been under pressure in recent weeks, as concerns about high valuations and outflows by foreign investors have led to substantial declines.

The Philippines PSE Composite  was down 3.2%, and the Indonesia JSX  lost 1.9%.

Australia resumed trading after closing on Monday for a public holiday, getting its first chance to react to the events that influenced the previous session — namely, last week’s forecast-beating U.S. nonfarm payrolls data and disappointing Chinese economic data that came out over the weekend.

The S&P/ASX 200  was up 0.3%.

Markets in mainland China remained closed for a three-day public holiday, though Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong remained weighed by the poor economic data out over the weekend.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was down 1.3% and the Hang Seng Index  was off 0.9%.

Source : Marketwatch