Asian Markets: Nikkei hits 11-week low
Shares in Asia were weak on Monday with Japan's Nikkei Index closing at an 11-week low of 9,674 -- down 0.6 percent. Shares were hampered both by Friday's worse-than-expected jobs report out of the U.S. indicating that the economy may be in a worse state than previously suspected, and by Nouriel Roubini's dire prediction that another market correction may be on the way.
In Japan, Nippon Chemical Industries Co. (NPNHF) dived 9.6 percent after announcing a predicted 1.08 billion yen profit loss. The chemical company had previously anticipated a 100 million yen profit. Contractor company Haseko Corp. plunged 7.7 percent, and real estate company Leopalace21 Corp. (LEOPF) fell 4.3 percent. Engineering and design computer system developer Zuken Inc. (ZUKNF) plummeted 9 percent after admitting that cost cuts had not made up for lost sales and nearly halving its net income forecast.
On the positive side, toymaker SK Japan Co surged to its 25 percent daily limit after stronger sales and cost cuts boosted the company's net income forecast, and Fast Retailing Co. (FRCOY) climbed 15 percent after divulging that sales at its Uniqlo shops has skyrocketed -- spurred by the popularity of mock leather jackets and jeans.
Japanese brokerage company Nomura Holdings Inc. (NMR) also saw an 11 percent spike in share price on the news that its U.S. operations will double its number of employees this year, and Micronics Japan Co. (MJPNF) surged 7.3 percent after posting lower than expected losses.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed at 20.429 eking out a 0.3 percent increase in a late-session comeback. The territory's blue-chip stocks closed mostly higher with PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR) gaining 1.6 percent, China Mobile Ltd. (CHL) climbing 1.3 percent and Standard Chartered PLC (SCBFF) up 0.5 percent.
Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. (GELYF) was up 0.5 percent after news that its bid for Volvo was higher than that of U.S. led Crown consortium, which includes former Ford and Chrysler executives. But the deal is no sure thing, as some are saying that the U.S. group could be a better alternative for Volvo, which is currently owned by Ford Motor Co. (F). Geely has so far sustained gains made at the end of September when Goldman Sachs made a major investment in the company.
Let's hope Roubini's grim predictions don't put the brakes on growth for healthy Asian companies like Geely.