Asian Markets: Major indexes decline

Shares in Asia closed lower Monday. The Hang Seng Index ended the day down 0.9 percent to close at 21,299, and the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.6 percent, ending the day at 2,894. Japan's stock market was closed for the day in celebration of Health and Sports Day.

In Hong Kong, shares in land developers fell after news spread that the number of loans granted by large Chinese banks had dropped for the month of September. Sinolink Worldwide Holdings Ltd. (SNLKF) plunged 17.2 percent, New World China Land Ltd. (NWRDF) tumbled 7.3 percent and China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. (CAOVF) fell 1.4 percent. Even Country Garden Holdings Co. (CTRYY), which had a 63 percent rise in sales over last week's Golden Week, according to Bloomberg, suffered a loss of 0.7 percent today. Country Garden is owned by Yang Huiyan, who Forbes identifies as China's richest woman.

Consumer product exporting giant, Li & Fung Ltd. (LFUGF) slid 3.8 percent today. On Friday, the company's president, Bruce Rockowitz, announced that the company is considering acquiring several American companies, telling Bloomberg he had "never seen so many great opportunities." Esprit Holdings Ltd. (ESHDF) was also down for the day, losing 0.9 percent while Bossini International Hldg. (BOSIF) surged 11.3 percent.

Wynn Macau Ltd., which went public on Friday with a 6.9 percent gain, lost 0.2 percent today, Metallurgical Corp of China Ltd., which lost value in its recent IPO, gained 0.5 percent, and jewelry company Eternite International Co., which gained 62 percent on its debut last week, rose 100 percent today to close at HK$0.43.

Chinese retailers were on the rise, reaping the benefit of last week's Golden Week holiday which many Chinese, in keeping with tradition, spent shopping. According to China's Ministry of Commerce, retail sales during the celebrations were up 18 percent across the nation, as compared with the same period last year, with sales during the 8-day holiday totaling $83 billion. Appliance maker Hisense Electric Co. surged 9.9 percent and shares in Chongquing Department Store Co. rose to their 10 percent daily limit.

In China, shares in commodity producers fell as a result of lower metal prices: Jiangxi Copper Co. (JIXAY) slid 2 percent , Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. retreated 1.9 percent, Tangshan Iron & Steel Co. slipped 1.4 percent and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. dropped 1.3 percent.

Carmakers in China were up with Changan Automobile Co. Ltd. gaining 4.6 percent. Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. (GELYF), which benefited from a cash infusion from Goldman Sachs earlier this year, rose 0.4 percent and SAIC Motor was up 1 percent.

Just a few bright spots in an otherwise negative trading day.
Read Full Story