October 26, 2012 10:34 am

Earnings and China fund woes hit Asia stocks

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Asian stocks fell sharply on Friday as earnings disappointments weighed and data showed weak quarterly performances for Chinese fund managers.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index fell 1.4 per cent to 8,933.06 after a number of companies reported below forecast earnings and disappointed with weaker than expected guidance.

Canon fell 3.2 per cent to Y2,560 as digital camera sales fell in the third quarter, leading the company to cut its full-year profit guidance by 10 per cent.

“In the short term the stock is likely to rise if yen appreciation is more than an aberration, but longer term, we think the company needs to add to its earnings base,” said Hisashi Moriyama at JPMorgan.

Meanwhile, factory automation group Fanuc fell 3.1 per cent to Y12,570 after a 12.6 per cent fall in quarterly operating profit prompted downward revisions to its full-year outlook.

The biggest faller on the main index was Yamaha, the maker of musical instruments, after it posted below par first half net income. The shares lost 8 per cent to Y717.

On the plus side, chip testing equipment maker Advantest rose 3.6 per cent to Y987 after its cut in full-year forecasts fell within expectations.

Shares in China and Hong Kong fell sharply after the China Securities Journal reported funds in the country had lost Rmb75bn ($12bn) in the third quarter.

Fears the losses could spark a wave of redemptions from Chinese fund managers left the Shanghai Composite 1.7 per cent lower at 2,066.2, while the Hang Seng shed 1.2 per cent to 21,545.57.

The biggest fallers, however, were those whose quarterly results and profit forecasts failed to measure up to market expectations.

Flat-panel television maker Hisense Electric fell 10 per cent to Rmb8.97 after a worse than expected 10 per cent drop in quarterly profit, while Maanshan Iron & Steel fell 4.4 per cent to Rmb1.97 after reporting a third-quarter loss.

South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 1.7 per cent to 1,891.43. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics reported record quarterly profits, but they didn’t impress investors enough make them net buyers of the stock on Friday and the shares fell 2.7 per cent to Won1,287,000.

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