Arab Today, arab today asia markets mostly lower after honda profit alert
Last Updated : GMT 21:25:08
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Asia markets mostly lower after Honda profit alert

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Arab Today, arab today Asia markets mostly lower after Honda profit alert

Hong Kong - AFP

Asian markets were mostly lower on Monday as better-than-expected US growth data failed to offset concerns over corporate earnings as Honda issued a profit warning. Trading was also nervous at the start of a crucial week that will see a Bank of Japan policy meeting, the release of US jobs data and a series of talks in Europe on Greece\'s debt. Tokyo\'s benchmark Nikkei index ended almost flat, dipping 3.72 points to 8,929.34. Stocks gave up early gains, pushed down by the midday release of Honda Motor\'s earnings report. Honda shares dived 4.65 percent to close at 2,399 yen after it said its full-year results would be much weaker than forecast even as its first-half profit more than doubled to $2.7 billion. \"Honda\'s sales apparently felt the impact from a weaker China market, as well as the stronger yen, and raised the possibility that it will revise down its full-year view yet again,\" said Hideyuki Ishiguro, strategist at Okasan Securities. \"Of course Honda\'s problems are not unique. The magnitude of the China impact may be most felt in Nissan\'s earnings, since it has the heaviest proportional exposure to China,\" he told Dow Jones Newswires. The release of the figures had been set for after markets closed but came out several hours earlier with the company blaming a \"human error\". Nissan Motor fell 2.18 percent to 670 yen, while Toyota Motor lost 1.62 percent to 3,030 yen. NEC rose 5.71 percent to 148 yen after the information technology giant announced Friday it booked a $100 million profit in its fiscal first half thanks to a boost in sales and cost-cutting. Japan\'s biggest mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo tumbled 5.99 percent to 116,000 yen after it cut its full-year profit forecast owing to rising costs. The Sydney market closed 0.10 percent, or 4.5 points, higher at 4,476.9 and Seoul was almost unchanged, nudging up 0.09 points to 1,891.52. Hong Kong closed down 0.16 percent, or 34.52 points, at 21,511.05 with developers dragged down by government plans to curb the red-hot property market. Shanghai ended 0.35 percent lower, giving up 7.27 points to 2,058.94. The US Department of Commerce said Friday the world\'s number one economy grew at a 2.0 percent annual rate in July-September -- compared to the second quarter\'s 1.3 percent expansion and the 1.9 percent forecast by most economists. A 13 percent jump in defence spending, which tends to be volatile, and better consumer spending and housing investment propelled the growth. However, the data did highlight flat business investment and shrinking exports. Wall Street was almost unmoved as investors took stock of another set of disappointing earnings from the likes of Apple and Merck. The Dow ended up 0.03 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.07 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.06 percent. The New York Stock Exchange announced it would close its trading floor and conduct only electronic transactions, as Hurricane Sandy closed in on the US eastern seaboard. \"In consultation with other exchanges and market participants, NYSE Euronext will close its markets on Monday... and pending confirmation on Tuesday,\" the market operator said in a statement. Joe Bracken, head of macro strategies at BT Investment Management in Sydney, suggested the impending hurricane could contribute to quiet trading in Asia. \"You\'ve got the US essentially closed, so there will be less of that US liquidity that drives a lot of international markets,\" he told Dow Jones Newswires. Eyes are now on a two-day meeting of the Bank of Japan which ends Tuesday, with most investors hoping it will unveil an extension of its monetary easing policy. Despite expectations of fresh cash being pumped into the market, the yen rose slightly in afternoon Asian trade. The dollar was trading at 79.61 yen against 79.62 yen late Friday in New York, while the euro bought 102.70 yen compared with 103.00 yen. The European unit was at $1.2900 from $1.2942. Also on the horizon are the release of manufacturing figures out of China and other Asian nations, while the US will Friday unveil its non-farm payrolls data, the last before the presidential election. And eurozone ministers will hold a series of meetings on Greece to decide whether it has done enough to fix its debt problem to receive the latest tranche of crucial aid money. The ministers are also looking at a Greek request for the terms of its bailout to be extended by two years to 2016. Oil was lower. New York\'s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, shed 68 cents to $85.60 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell 85 cents to $108.70. Gold was at $1,711.90 at 0600 GMT compared with $1,703.18 late Friday. In other markets: -- Taipei slipped 0.59 percent, or 42.39 points, to 7,091.67. Leading smartphone maker HTC was 7.0 percent limit-down at Tw$219.5 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.92 percent higher at Tw$88.1. -- Manila closed 0.14 percent lower, losing 7.74 points to 5,397.42. Ayala Land rose 0.64 percent to 23.65 pesos but Puregold Price Club was unchanged at 30.05 pesos. Coal Asia Holdings, which soared 50 percent on its debut last week, slumped 14.67 percent to 1.28 pesos. -- Wellington fell 0.82 percent, or 32.48 points, to 3,951.30. Telecom was off 3.45 percent at NZ$2.38 and Fletcher Building shed 0.7 percent to NZ$7.07.

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