- POSTED: 17 Jan 2014 17:20
- UPDATED: 17 Jan 2014 19:18
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Asian markets mostly slipped on Friday, following a negative lead from Wall Street after a disappointing set of corporate results and soft economic data.
HONG KONG : Asian markets mostly slipped on Friday, following a negative lead from Wall Street after a disappointing set of corporate results and soft economic data.
The dollar was subdued against the yen after seeing a sell-off in New York in response to the latest US figures, while its Australian counterpart also continued to struggle.
Tokyo ended flat, dipping 12.74 points, or 0.08 per cent to 15,734.46 and Sydney also closed almost unchanged, edging down 3.2 points to 5,305.9, while Seoul fell 0.66 per cent, or 12.84 points, to 1,944.48.
Shanghai lost 0.93 per cent, or 18.75 points, to close at 2,004.95 despite a surge of more than 40 per cent for the market's first debut listing in more than a year.
But Hong Kong was 0.64 per cent higher, adding 146.94 points to 23,133.35.
Malaysia's stock market was closed on Friday for a public holiday.
The US Labor Department said new claims for unemployment insurance fell 2,000 last week to 326,000, indicating the jobs market is recovering slowly.
Last week, it released data showing the economy added less than half the number of jobs expected in December, raising fears about the US recovery.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said US consumer prices rose 0.3 per cent in December from November, and core prices - stripping out volatile energy and food prices - were up just 0.1 per cent.
The yearly rate was 1.5 per cent and the core rate was up 1.7 per cent, below the Federal Reserve's 2.0 per cent target.
Adding to the downbeat sentiment was a string of weak US earnings releases.
US electronics retailer Best Buy plunged 28.6 per cent after saying November-December same-store sales were 0.8 per cent lower than the previous year's holiday shopping season.
Citigroup took a hit after earnings came in well below those forecast, while chip giant Intel also sank in after-market trade as it said net profit last year fell 13 per cent.
On Wall Street, the Dow fell 0.39 per cent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.13 per cent a day after hitting a record high but the Nasdaq edged up 0.09 per cent.
The dollar was unable to rebound against the yen in Tokyo from its losses in New York on Thursday caused by the downbeat US results.
In late afternoon trade, the greenback bought 104.34 yen, compared with 104.37 yen late in New York and well down from the 104.60 yen level touched earlier Thursday in Asia.
The euro was at 141.97 yen against 142.11 yen while it also fetched US$1.3600, compared with US$1.3615.
The Australian dollar fetched 88.10 US cents, stuck at three-year lows after seeing a sell-off on Thursday following another set of disappointing jobs figures out of Canberra. It had fallen to as low as 87.77 cents at one point after the jobs data.
In Shanghai, Neway Valve (Suzhou) Co. - the first stock to list in China for 14 months - jumped 43.49 per cent on its debut after authorities ended a freeze on initial public offerings (IPOs).
The firm is among the first batch of five announcing last month that regulators had given the green light for share offers, following a suspension of approvals in November 2012.
On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in February rose 37 cents to US$94.33 a barrel, while European benchmark Brent crude for March was up nine cents at US$105.84. The February contract expired on Thursday.
Gold fetched US$1,241.24 at 0820 GMT compared with US$1,236.55 late Thursday.
In other markets, Mumbai fell 0.95 per cent, or 201.56 points, to 21,063.62; Bangkok lost 0.47 per cent, or 6.07 points, to 1,295.41; Jakarta ended down 0.01 per cent, or 0.26 points, at 4,412.23; Taipei fell 0.19 per cent, or 16.11 points, to 8,596.0; Wellington fell 0.56 per cent, or 27.34 points, to 4,893.95; and Manila was flat, edging up 4.85 points to 5,987.09.