Asian Stocks Tumble, Earnings Concerns Weigh
Asian shares slid on Friday while the yen steadied as investors shunned risk on concerns over corporate earnings, with the region's exporters struggling against shrinking global demand.
The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index, which measures markets across Asia, dipped 0.3 percent.
Japanese shares fell from a four-week high on concerns Chinese funds may face heavy redemptions after local media reports of poor quarterly earnings, and after disappointing corporate results.
The Nikkei lost 1.4 percent to 8,933.06, while the broader Topix dropped 1.4 percent to 741.23.
Fuji Electric sank 6.9 percent on concerns the company may miss its full-year operating profit forecast of 23 billion yen after it posted a 5.4 billion operating loss for the six months ended September.
Wacom jumped 9 percent to 207,500 yen, its highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years, after the maker of pen-based computer input systems revised its operating profit forecast for the six months ended Sept. 30 by 47.2 percent to 2.65 billion yen ($33.06 million) due to booming demand for smartphones and tablets.
Sharp jumped 8.1 percent to 173 yen after the Asahi newspaper said the struggling TV maker was considering financial tie-ups with U.S. tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Google and Apple.
Sharp was the second-most traded stock on the main index by turnover.
Aeon gained 1 percent, hitting a more than two-week high after the Nikkei business daily said the retailer is set to acquire France-based Carrefour SA's Malaysian business for slightly more than 20 billion yen as part of its push into Southeast Asia.
Advantest jumped 5.4 percent to 1,004 yen, even though it cut its full-year operating profit guidance, with traders noting the chip tester maker was still expecting a profit.
Canon lost 2.1 percent to 2,589 yen after the camera and printer maker cut its full-year earnings outlook following a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as Chinese consumers began shunning Japanese products over a territorial spat and amid a weak global economy.
Canon was the second most traded stock on the main board by turnover. Rival Ricoh ell 1 percent to 726 yen while Nikon eased 1.1 percent to 2,051 yen.
Mainland China shares closed at three-week lows, posting their first weekly slip in four with growth-sensitive sectors leading losses after Chinese media reported that fund managers were pessimistic about the fourth quarter.
The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 1.7 percent on Friday and 2.9 percent this week. The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed down 1.9 percent on the day and 3.6 percent on the week at 2,247.9, its lowest bclose since Sept. 26.
Shares of steel producers were among the hardest hit after Maanshan Iron and Steel posted a bigger-than-expected third-quarter loss, sparking profit taking on recent outperformers in the sector.
China Shenhua Energy, he country's largest coal producer, shed 1.2 percent in Shanghai ahead of its third-quarter corporate earnings due out later today.
Hong Kong shares snapped a 10-session winning streak, hit by a 7.6 percent slump in China Unicom after the country's second-largest mobile operator posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter profit.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 1.2 percent on the day, but flat on the week at 21,545.6. The China Enterprises Index f the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong ended down 1.6 percent on the day and down 2.2 percent this week.
China Unicom was the top drag on the Hang Seng Index, slumping 7.6 percent to its lowest since Oct. 8 after posting a 27 percent rise in third-quarter net profit that lagged market expectations.
The slump in mainland Chinese markets took a toll on A-share market proxy plays such as Chinese insurance and brokerage counters. Ping An Insurance slumped 3.2 percent, while Haitong Securities dived 4.4 percent.
Seoul shares closed in the red as market heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell despite reporting another record profit and Kia Motors sagged on disappointing results.
Samsung posted a quarterly profit of $7.4 billion, with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking lower memory chip sales, but investors accustomed to record earnings from the technology powerhouse sent its shares down 2 percent.
Australian shares fell 0.8 percent on Friday, dragged down by local mining and banking shares and disappointing U.S. corporate earnings as investors searched for positive indicators ahead of American GDP data due later on Friday.
For the week, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 2.15 percent — its biggest weekly fall since mid-May. On Friday, it shed 38.1 points to end at 4,472.4.
In spite of iron ore spot prices reaching their highest since July on Thursday, miners fell. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto lost 1.5 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.
Banks all fell, led by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which slid 0.8 percent.
ANZ fell 0.6 percent, despite beating forecasts to post a third straight year of record profits, aided by cost cuts.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining edged up 0.6 percent as gold rose above the $1,700 an ounce threshold on Thursday, boosted by encouraging United Kingdom GDP growth data and
expectations the Bank of Japan will further loosen its monetary policy.
Macquarie surged 3.5 percent to A$30.85, paring index losses after the investment bank reported a smaller-than-expected 18.4 percent rise in first-half net profit.
Defensive stocks were also soft with Wesfarmers down 0.7 percent and blood products maker CSL off 1.2 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 slipped 0.2 percent to 3,983.8.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 1.7 percent at 1,891.4 points, hitting a fresh new low.
The KOSPI is now down more than 5 percent since mid-September, when it hit a five-month high on the back of stimulus moves by global central banks.
Shares of Kia Motors slid 5 percent after the carmaker posted a smaller-than-expected profit margin in the third quarter.
The healthcare and autos sectors led the market's losses, declining 2.9 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
Nongshim, a snack food maker, edged up 0.6 percent, following a 7 percent drop on Thursday after its signature instant noodle products were found to contain cancer-causing substances.
But Woongjin Coway ucked the trend, jumping 8.4 percent on news that parent company Woongjin Holdings was willing to complete a $1.1 billion deal to sell a near 30 percent controlling stake in the water purifier maker to domestic private equity fund MBK Partners.
In India, the BSE index nd the 50-share NSE index nded down 0.7 percent.
Financial markets are shut today in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines for national holidays.