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Asian shares decline on China slowdown
by Himanshu Singh on May 19, 2014 at 04:16
Asian shares declined on Monday in morning trade after data showed a spreading slowdown in China’s housing market and as the yen maintained gains.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3% to 139 as of 10:49 a.m. in Tokyo after increasing 1.3% last week, the biggest such advance in six weeks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1%.
Japan’s Topix index slipped less than 0.1% as the yen traded little changed at 102 per dollar after gaining for three days. Data on Monday showed Japan’s machine orders jumped more than forecast in March.
South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.9%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.2%. Taiwan’s Taiex index retreated 0.1% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed.
China’s new-home prices rose in April in the fewest cities in one and half years as developers offered discounts and the economy slowed, prompting the easing of property curbs in some places.
Prices last month climbed in 44 of the 70 cities tracked by the government compared with 56 cities in March. That was the fewest cities with price gains since October 2012, when increases were recorded in only 35 on a monthly basis.
In corporate news, China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd., a developer, lost 1.5% in Hong Kong. Mazda Motor Corp., a Japanese automaker that gets 76% of its sales abroad, dropped 1.9%.
UGL Ltd., an Australian construction company, slumped 13% on a report on a report the sale of its property unit may be scrapped.Tokyo Electron Ltd., a maker of industrial electronics, jumped 5.5%, rising the most on the regional gauge.
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