In Asia, Nintendo Stock Plunges on 3-D Health Warning


In Asia Thursday, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell 1.1% to 10,229. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.3% to 2,760, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1% to end the day at 22,999.

Japanese exporters are fighting the effects of a surging yen, which hit a new seven-week record of 81.50 yen per dollar today. Many see exporters as the key to bolstering the flailing Japanese economy. But a stronger yen shrinks the pot of money companies have earned, once they bring their profits back home. In addition, Sony, one of Japan's big exporters, is now splashing out lawsuits against Korean competitor LG Electronics, which it claims is illegally using Sony's technology in smartphones bound for the U.S., reports Bloomberg.

Nintendo Releases Health Warning for Young Children

Today, Sony (SNE) dropped 1%, despite rumors that it has plans to launch a portable PSP with a built-in smartphone. This would help Sony level the playing field against Apple's (AAPL) iPhone. "If Sony can nail this, they could be on to a winner," one industry insider told The Sun.

Nintendo suffered a 2.4% drop, with a new report showing that 3-D images, like the ones featured on its soon-to-be-released 3DS, could harm young children's eyes. According to Sci-Tech Today, Nintendo is releasing the warning early to avoid legal problems later, saying that excessive use can be detrimental to eye development in kids under 6 years old.

Car companies also sank, thanks to the pathetic exchange rates combined with apathetic overseas buyers. Isuzu plunged 1.6%, Nissan tumbled 1.5%, Mazda slumped 1.3%, Honda lost 1.2% and Toyota gave up 0.9%.

In Chin, a strengthening yuan was a boon to share prices, as the currency fluctuation reduced the cost of debt. Airlines were in good books, with China Southern Airlines rocketing up 4.7%, Air China rallying 2.4% and China Eastern Airlines rising 2.1%.

Copper prices surged today, sending Chinese miners into positive territory. Yunnan Copper Industry climbed 4.8%, and Jiangxi Copper jumped 3.5%. Zijin Mining advanced 1.3%.

Chinese Carmakers Hit by 2011 Restrictions

Carmakers were among the losers in China. Record numbers of buyers have snapped up bargains, hoping to get their cars registered in cities like Beijing before new restrictions take effect in January. The city is battling choking congestion and plans to limit the number of new cars allowed on the roads. Coupled with the end of tax incentives, this could seriously impact car sales in the upcoming months. Today SAIC plummeted 2.9% and FAW Car lost 1.4%.

But in Hong Kong carmakers climbed, with analysts clinging to the belief that Chinese demand will continue to rise. Brilliance China Automotive, which sells sedans under the BMW brand name, racked up a 3.3% gain, and Geely Automotive advanced 0.9%. Warren Buffett-backed BYD, pinning its hopes on electric cars, added 0.9%, inching back from massive losses earlier this year.

Wharf Holdings and Swire Pacific, both with major Hong Kong malls in their property portfolios, added to yesterday's gains. Wharf climbed 1.6%, and Swire Pacific advanced 1%. Other developers also saw big gains with New World Development jumping 1.9% and Sino Land rising 1.7%. But it wasn't such good news for others: Henderson Land slid 0.8%, Sun Hung Kai retreated 0.7% and Cheung Kong slipped 0.5%.