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Asian Shares Drop Ahead Of Italian Referendum

02.12.16 09:36

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stocks fell on Friday as the oil rally fizzled out and rising U.

S. Treasury yields, reflecting expectations that inflation will accelerate in 2017, triggered fresh concerns about capital outflows from emerging markets.

The U.S. jobs report due tonight and the weekend's referendum on constitutional reform in Italy also kept investors on the sidelines.

U.S. employment is expected to increase by 170,000 jobs in November after climbing by 161,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.9 percent. Positive results for November may prompt the Federal Open Market Committee to hike rates this month.

China's Shanghai Composite index lost 29.47 points or 0.9 percent to finish at 3,243.84 as coking coal futures and construction product steel rebar tumbled after recent sharp gains.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 297 points or 1.30 percent at 22,581 as Italians get ready to vote in a crucial referendum Sunday that may decide the fate of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Japanese shares fell modestly as the dollar pulled back against the yen in early trade and a monthly estimate from a think tank showed Japan's GDP increased for a second straight month in October, led by increases in capital investment and exports.

The Nikkei average dropped 87.04 points or 0.47 percent to 18,426.08 after hitting an 11-month high in the previous session. The broader Topix index closed 0.36 percent lower at 1,477.98. The dollar edged up to 114.09 yen in late Asian trading after trading in the upper 113 yen range earlier in the session.

DeNA Co. slumped 6.7 percent after the mobile internet company suspended most of its information websites following criticism that it provided medical information in an inappropriate manner. Financials closed broadly higher, with Nomura Holdings, Resona Holdings and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial climbing 5-6 percent.

Australian shares fell sharply as the worst bond rout in three years deepened and oil prices surrendered some recent gains in Asian deals. Investors ignored upbeat data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the third straight month of gain in retail sales.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 56.20 points or 1.02 percent to 5,444 while the broader All Ordinaries closed 57.80 points or 1.04 percent lower at 5,502.60.

Miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals lost 1-3 percent while oil major Woodside Petroleum shed 1.9 percent. Origin Energy rose half a percent after overhauling its leadership team.

Gold miner Evolution Mining soared 4.7 percent and Regis Resources advanced 2.5 percent as gold recovered from 10-month lows on a weaker dollar.

Shares of GrainCorp gained 1.8 percent after U.S. agricultural commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland Co sold its 19.9 percent stake in the company. Infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia plummeted 43.5 percent after warning of slow sales and temporary loss of market share in China.

Seoul shares retreated, with the benchmark Kospi closing down 13.14 points or 0.66 percent at 1,970.61, after revised data showed the economy expanded an annual 2.6 percent in the third quarter, lagging the 2.7 percent preliminary reading released on Oct 25.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.3 percent on profit taking after reaching a record high in the previous session. Lotte Group shares came under selling pressure as the Chinese government embarked on an extensive tax audit and safety inspection of all of its businesses in China.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index dropped 27.89 points or 0.40 percent to 6,904.85 amid the rout in the global debt markets. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares climbed 4.3 percent after a favorable German court ruling over a patent dispute.

Elsewhere, benchmark indexes in India, Singapore and Taiwan were down between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent while Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was rallying 1 percent and Malaysia's KLSE Composite was up 0.1 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed as tech stocks suffered heavy losses and economic reports on manufacturing and construction spending bolstered the case for higher interest rates.

The Dow rose 0.4 percent to reach a fresh record closing high, but the S&P 500 shed 0.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.4 percent.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX


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