Asia takes a beating from tech slide
TOKYO, Japan -- Asian markets are sharply lower heading into Friday afternoon, taking their cue from Wall Street's technology slide rather than Japan's better than expected March quarter GDP figures.
Tokyo, South Korea and Taiwan are the worst market performers, with the Nikkei down 1.5 percent, the Kospi in Seoul down 1.67 percent and the Taiex off more than 2 percent.
After the close of trading in New York, Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, cut its second-quarter revenue forecast by as much as $500 million, to between $6.2 billion and $6.5 billion.
That tech shock flowed through to chipmakers across the region, notably Toshiba in Japan, Samsung Electronics in South Korea and TSMC and UMC in Taiwan.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 is down 6.2 points or 0.19 percent to 3337.9. New Zealand is also slightly lower.
Singapore's Straits Times Index is about a third of a percent lower at 1647.39 and Hong Kong is off about 0.7 percent.
On Wall Street Thursday, the Dow finished 1.76 percent lower at 9624.64, while the Nasdaq closed at its lowest level this year, losing 2.5 percent to 1554.88 (Full Story).
Japan posts 1.4% gain in March quarter
Japan's best economic growth in two years in the March quarter -- a rise of 1.4 percent on the previous quarter and an annualized growth rate of 5.7 percent -- failed to impress the market (Full Story).
The benchmark Nikkei 225 average finished the morning down 1.50 percent or 173.27 points at 11,401.67. The broader capital-weighted Topix lost 0.92 percent or 10.20 points to 1097.88.
"The market was taking the view that a cyclical recovery was starting from the end of last year on. These figures will do nothing to change that," Alexander Kinmont, Japanese equity strategist at Nikko Salomon Smith Barney, told Reuters news agency.
In the morning session, Toshiba Corp, Japan's biggest chipmaker fell 2.71 percent to 502 yen, Fujitsu dropped 2.3 percent to 891 yen, Hitachi is off 2.95 percent to 856 yen and NEC is down about 1 percent to 904 yen.
Tokyo Electron, Japan's biggest manufacturer of chip equipment, plunged 4.41 percent to 8020 yen.
Consumer electronics leader Sony is off 2.15 percent to 6820 yen.
In the telco sector, mobile phone leader NTT DoCoMo was the most actively traded issue and fell 2.15 percent to 319,000 yen. Its parent NTT is down 0.34 percent to 582,000 yen.
Second-ranked telco KDDI is down 4.77 percent to 439,000 yen and No. 3 player Japan Telecom is off 0.7 percent to 409,000 yen.
Banks are mixed, with Mizuho Holdings steady, UFJ Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp down slightly, and MTFG up marginally to 967,000 yen.
Automaker Nissan is down sharply, off 2.7 percent to 895 yen. Market leader Toyota is down about 1 percent, but Honda has put on about 1 percent after denying media reports it planned more activity in China.
On the currency market, the yen is slightly weaker at about 124.5 to the U.S. dollar.
Samsung, Hynix tumble
In Seoul, market heavyweight and the world's leading memory chipmaker Samsung Electronics is down 2.4 percent to 347,000 won.
Its troubled rival Hynix Semiconductor has touched another record low, down 13 percent to 390 won.
Mobile phone leader SK Telecom is down almost 3 percent to 262,000 won.
In Taiwan, tech weakness has pushed the Taiex down 2.07 percent.
The world's biggest chip foundry, TSMC, is sharply lower, off 6.2 percent to T$75.50 in the wake of Intel's reduced revenue forecast. UMC, the other main foundry, is down 5.7 percent to T$41.20.
Hong Kong's market is broadly lower, down about 0.63 percent to 11,309 heading towards midday. Banking leader HSBC is off about 0.8 percent to HK$94.75. China Mobile is down 1.8 percent to HK$24.50.
In Australia, leading telco Telstra continues to fall, down more than 1 percent to touch a four-year low of A$4.57.
Media group and market heavyweight News Corp is also lower, down almost 2 percent to A$12.22 on continued investor nervousness about its pay-TV plans in Italy.
Resources leaders BHP and Rio Tinto are higher.
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