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Asia shares down as China adapts ‘new normal’ for growth

by Himanshu Singh on May 12, 2014 at 04:28

Asia shares down as China adapts ‘new normal’ for growth

Asian shares declined on Monday after Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country needs to adapt to a “new normal” in the pace of economic growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.4% to 137 as of 10:55 a.m. in Tokyo. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6%.

Japan’s Topix index declined 0.2% after data showed the nation’s current-account surplus narrowed to ¥116.4 billion ($1.1 billion) in March from ¥612.7 billion in February. The yen lost 0.1% to 101.95% today after falling 0.2% on 9 May.

South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.2%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.4% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1%.

China’s growth fundamentals haven’t changed and the country is still in a “significant period of strategic opportunity”, Xi said, according to a Xinhua News Agency. At the same time, the government must prevent risks and take “timely countermeasures to reduce potential negative effects”, he said.

In the US, Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Fed, said he expects the central bank will use a reverse-repurchase programme when it eventually begins to tighten monetary policy.

In corporate news, DeNA Co. slumped 20% in Tokyo after the online-gaming network operator forecast operating profit that missed estimates. He added that reverse repos may play a role in influencing short-term rates.

Uni-President China Holdings Ltd. plummeted 11% in Hong Kong as the food processor proposed a rights issue.

Samsung Electronics Co., Asia’s biggest technology company, gained 1.4% in Seoul as Chairman Lee Kun Hee was reported to be in a stable condition after surgery following a heart attack. Sharp Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Hitachi Ltd. are scheduled to report earnings today.

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