Lower on jittery sentiment

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HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly fell yesterday amid growing concerns over the global economy after an unimpressive set of US data, while weak Japanese figures and a stronger yen weighed on Tokyo.

Trade was also subdued as investors balanced their books on the last day of the quarter, which saw a rally at the start of the year subside in the final few weeks.

Tokyo lost 0.31 per cent, or 31.23 points, to close at 10,083.56, Sydney finished flat, edging down 2.7 points to 4,335.2 and Seoul was also almost unchanged, nudging 0.37 point lower to 2,014.04.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 10.63 points to 2,262.79 on turnover of 56.0 billion yuan.

Japan was unable to provide any perk after announcing an unexpected 1.2 per cent fall in February industrial production, against forecasts for a 1.3 per cent rise.

The fall comes after Tokyo said the weak economy was showing signs of picking up after industrial production in January rose by a revised 1.9 percent.

The results out of Washington and Tokyo are the latest to pour cold water on a recent spurt of optimism over the global economy that had been fuelled by rising US jobs growth and an easing of Europe’s debt crisis.

In other markets:

* Taipei rose 0.77 per cent, or 60.34 points, to 7,933.00.

* Manila rose 0.44 per cent, or 22.49 points, to 5,107.73.

* Wellington gained 0.40 per cent, or 14.11 points, to 3,509.55.

* Bangkok fell 0.59 per cent, or 7.14 points, to 1,196.77.

* Jakarta gained 0.40 per cent, or 16.38 points, to 4,121.55.

* Mumbai jumped 345.59 points, or 2.03 per cent, to 17,404.2. – AFP

Business Times : marketwatch

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