Asia Lower on Further China Tightening Fears
Asian stocks finished mostly lower on Friday on concerns over further tightening measures by China after the latest growth figures released on Thursday showed the economy continuing to power ahead.
Japan's stocks fell, capping their biggest weekly loss in three months, as lower commodities prices weighed on energy-related stocks and spurred profit-taking after a recent rally.
The Nikkei ended the day down 1.6 percent, marking its biggest daily fall in two months. The broader Topix lost 1.8 percent.
Among the biggest losers was Japan's biggest trading house Mitsubishi Corp, which fell 4.5 percent. It was the second-most actively traded stock on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board. Fellow trader Mitsui & Co shed 3.3 percent.
Bucking the trend was NEC. Japan's largest PC company rose 2.1 percent after a newspaper report, later confirmed by Reuters, said it was in talks with China's Lenovo about a joint venture in personal computers.
Inpex Corp, Japan's largest oil and gas developer, fell 3.2 percent after oil prices slumped about 2 percent on a sell-off sparked by an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and worries that China may tighten monetary policy to fight inflation.
GS Yuasa Corp, Japan's top car battery maker, fell 4 percent after a report that Mitsubishi Motors will use lithium-ion batteries made by Toshiba in an electric vehicle set to go on sale in the autumn.
Seoul shares dipped, falling 2.4 percent off the record level hit earlier this week, with concerns about Chinese monetary tightening sending key large-cap exporters lower.
Banks and autos led falls, with KB Financial Group ending down 3.4 percent and Hyundai Motor down 4.4 percent. Negative brokerage note on South Korea also dented sentiment as Morgan Stanley lowered its rating on South Korea.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) finished down 1.74 percent at 2,069.92 points.
Australian shares frittered away early gains, striking their lowest close in 1-1/2 weeks as the key resources sector was hit by concerns that top trading partner China would tighten policy to choke off inflation fuelling excessive demand.
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were both hit hard in the sell off, BHP losing 1
percent to A$44.71, while Rio dropped 1.4 percent A$84.38.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 0.6 percent, according to last available data.
China's shares managed to closed up 1.4 percent as investors sought bargains among index heavyweights, such as banking and property stocks.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished at 2,715.3 points, appearing to have found temporary support after falling to as low as 2,667.3 points in early trade and trying to bridge a gap between 2,655 and 2,677 points set in early October.
Both Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Taiwan's Taiex finished lower.
Singapore shares fell, led by financials such as Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, which fell 0.7 percent. Commodities firms were also weak with Noble off 1.3 percent.
The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 index fell 1.5 percent.