Japanese stocks gain; rest of Asia takes a beating
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2013/02/10/2003554641 Asian stocks outside Japan fell this week after the European Central Bank (ECB) said the euro’s strength could hamper an economic recovery. Japanese shares gained as the yen fell after Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said he will step down ahead of schedule. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Excluding Japan Index slipped 0.5 percent this week to 476.25 as ECB President Mario Draghi on Friday said growth risks remain as EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek agreement on a budget. Shares on the gauge advanced in the past five months amid signs of economic recovery in China and the US. “It’s a return of worries about Europe,” said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd, which has about US$126 billion under management. “The market got very stretched and was due for a pullback, it was just a question of what the trigger would be. We could still see some further weakness this month.” Japan’s TOPIX gained 1.6 percent this week, extending its rally to a 13th week. The streak, the longest since 1973, has boosted valuations for the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index. Asia’s regional gauge traded at 14.8 times average estimated earnings compared with 13.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and a multiple of 12.1 for the STOXX Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average, Japan’s benchmark index, lost 0.3 percent this week, snapping a 12-week winning streak, after companies including Nikon Corp and Sony Corp posted disappointing earnings in Tokyo. The BSE India Sensitive Index fell 1.5 percent this week, the most among major Asia-Pacific gauges, after the government forecast the weakest economic growth in a decade. South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.4 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 2.1 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1 percent The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 percent as reports on Friday showed inflation gained and the nation’s exports rose more than forecast last month. Companies that do business in Europe dropped on speculation political turmoil will make it difficult for governments to lead their countries out of recession. Markets in Taiwan and China will be shut this week for the Lunar New Year holidays, while those in Hong Kong will close from tomorrow through Wednesday.
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