HONG KONG: Asian markets fell yesterday as a weak set of Japanese economic figures sent Tokyo diving, while dealers looked ahead to a speech by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke later in the day.
Tokyo stocks closed lower after a worse-than-expected drop in Japan’s factory output while investors look to a speech by US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke later in the day.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index lost 143.87 points, or 1.60 per cent, to 8,839.91 while the broader Topix index was down 1.63 per cent, or 12.15 points, at 731.64.
The government announced a 1.2 per cent fall in Japan’s factory output for July.
“The weak Japanese industrial production numbers acted as a drag on exporters, especially steel, auto, and electronics makers,” Investrust CEO Hiroyuki Fukunaga said.
Chinese shares ended lower with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipping 5.07 points to 2,047.52. The index fell 2.13 per cent for the week.
“The stock market is clouded by a wait-and-see sentiment (ahead of manufacturing activity data on Saturday) and the downward trend might continue unless there are substantial stimulus policies,” Shen Jun, an analyst at BOC International, said.
Seoul edged down 0.07 per cent, or 1.26 points, to 1,905.12, and Sydney nudged up 0.4 points to 4,316.1.
In other markets:
* Taipei rose 0.35 per cent, or 25.62 points, to 7,397.06.
* Manila closed 0.91 per cent higher, adding 46.88 points to 5,196.19.
* Jakarta closed 0.9 per cent, or 34.75 points, higher, at 4060.33.
* Bangkok rose 1.06 per cent, or 12.93 points, to 1,227.48.
* Mumbai ended 0.92 per cent, or 160.89 points, down at 17,380.75. AFP